About my – and your – definition of success
Did I really spend the majority of my living up to a definition of success that wasn’t mine? Yep, I did.
It must have been right before I turned 30 when it hit me: I had been living life trying to reach a kind of “success” that was made up by other people. Yes, according to society’s standards, I had been quite the successful millennial. But deep down inside me, things didn’t feel right at all. I felt pressured to reach goals that I thought other people expected me to reach, but I never really took the time to think of what it was that I found important.
Now, don’t get me wrong: that has nothing to do with other people. It has everything to do with the way in which I ignored my soul and intuition in order to live up to this pretty, perfect picture of what I thought would do well in other people’s eyes. That is completely on me.
It’s in the stories we are told
However, I cannot really blame myself, either. We all grow up getting to know a definition of success that is related to money, wealth, Ivy League colleges, excellent grades, well-paying jobs, big houses and expensive cars. It’s embedded in our culture. It’s in the movies we watch, the books we read, and the stories we are told. Reach a certain status and people will admire you. And so this is where we all base our definitions of success on. We feel pressured to do it all, because that’s when we will be seen.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being ambitious, hard work, wanting to make loads of money, or having goals. But the thing is: a lot of these have everything to do with welfare and nothing to do with wellbeing. I’m all for reaching for the stars and uncovering your true potential. As long as it is coming from your soul. As long as it comes from what makes you happy. Money may make life easier, but in the end, it is not what will leave your heart fulfilled.
My definition of success
And so, I created my own definition of success. Not overnight, but by regularly asking myself questions, like: when do I feel most alive? What are things that get me really excited? In what moments do I feel truly happy? And when I’m 80, what do I want to be able to look back on?
Time and time again, the same answers come to me. I want to feel connected, to me and to the outside world. I want to live from love. Experience freedom in all its forms. Be inspired. Be in movement. Never stop growing. And always follow my heart.
There you have it: my definition of success. And none of it has anything to do with the house I live in or the car I drive (spoiler alert: I don’t even own a car).
Tell me: have you thought of your personal definition of success? And are you living life according to it?