When I was around 17 or 18, I was a metal/hard punk guy. At the same time I was studying in a prestigious university, working, partying hard, and had the best mother I could ever ask for. I was happy though, but I defined myself back then as a seeker. So, out of the blue, I wanted to taste true independence. Without abandoning my responsibilities, I went to live on the street. I learned how to hide my stuff around the city, how to fight for a piece of cardboard to sleep on, how to clean myself in the river or even public fountains at weird hours so that nobody could see me. I saw street crime and even had interesting conversations with the criminals themselves. I learned just how much food was being thrown out in perfect condition, so I memorized the hours and days restaurants were throwing it away. I begged for money and used it for drinks and concert tickets. Overall I learned that there is always a point of comparison, rendering us completely interdependent.
Usually we have our lives mapped out up to college. But then what? Does our career path completely depend on how lucky we get in finding that first job and where? Or did we purposefully set out for the path we are navigating right now? What is it success in itself? Is it a house and a car, a beautiful wife or a tall and handsome husband? Is it having a dog and 2 kids? Is it heath and a six-figure salary?
Have we really thought about what success means to us? Have we thought about how we want to grow older? Do we want the husband or wife plus 2 lovers? How do we want that relationship to be? What kind of house do we want? Is square footage more important than the neighborhood? When a woman ticks the box labeled “financially” independent on a dating site –what does that really mean? Does it mean being debt-free? Does it mean not being on welfare? Or is it having a salary along with stifling debt? Is it being a millionaire like Mr. Grey? How many Mr. Greys are there?
Who tells us that the house and the car represent success? Is revenue a measure of success or an outcome of it?
I got to that point. I had a six-figure salary, a luxurious car, the house, the kids. On paper, I had made it. But, after a DUI, I couldn’t drive that car anymore and my wife threw me out of the house – and away from my family. I was living in the living room of a friend. I could only see my kids once every 2 weeks. Now looking back, I say to myself: thank God I didn’t have a dog! So… I went back to thinking the way I did when I was in my late teens. I started questioning the meaning of success all over again. I was probably mad because I wasn’t Elon Musk. But… I was successful, the only detail is that I wasn’t aware of it and consequently not satisfied.
The point is, if we want success we need to define our very own vision of where do we want to be and where we are. Not only that, we also need to question frequently and honestly whether that is our very own unique goal or if it is being influenced by societal pressures or envy.
We need to define it so well, that we’re able to know exactly what to sacrifice in order to reach a certain goal. In other words, what goals have priority over others.
What do you think? What is your measure of success? Leave us a comment. Everyone can use the input.