All too often in life I find myself looking at other people and thinking about their successes. Sometimes I view them as successful because they have achieved something I have not. This, in turn, makes me take a hard look at myself. Why can’t I be successful like that? What is it about that person that makes me think they are more successful than I am?
These questions would, of course, vary between the different types of people. But the real question I feel needs to be answered is why I don’t see myself as successful as other people. Or at least on the path to success. I’m prepared to define what I think is success so that I can reach for those same goals.
Someone who is successful with their families leaves me all kinds of jealous. Why is it that my kids seem to be the ones who can’t sit still? Sometimes I feel completely alone when my children get out of control, yet there are other people who have children that will behave with the slightest word or look. But is that success? My definition of success is to have functioning children that turn into healthy happy adults. There are a few ways I can achieve this. First, I can never stop learning about what it takes to be a good mother, and second I can put it into practice.
This one seems cut and dry, whoever makes the most money has been the most successful in their career, right? But I look at it differently. I think to be successful in a career you must first have a passion for what you do and second learn to balance that passion with other activities in your life. My husband works for a large dealership group as an accountant. He knows how much the executives around him are making, but he doesn’t envy them. Why? Because they never see their families. All they do is work for the money they earn. Money is the only thing they have. That life isn’t what I would define as success.
This area, in my opinion, is the hardest place to find success. What are those activities that make life worth living? If all of your focus is on family life or career are you really achieving your personal goals? I think sometimes a career and family life can be combined with personal time, but we also need to slow down and take time to smell the roses. It feels like working 24/7 is the only way we can find success, but where does that leave us at the end of the day? I have a friend who works in hospice care and something she told me is that she never hears anyone say they wished they had worked more. The things they always wanted more out of life is time with family and life experiences. This one shouldn’t go to waste.
Looking at all of this, I feel a bit of pride. It’s not easy to balance these things, but I think it is possible. Rounding out your life and following your dreams is what brings true success and happiness, not money alone. Never stop learning, never stop working, and most important never stop living.