Defining Success

I was walking down the street in San Francisco the other day when I came to a depressing realization: I can’t define what success means to me.  It’s such a vague and nebulous term hijacked by motivational speakers and parents around the world.

So, of course, on the quest for some semblance of truth, I started asking…literally everyone I met that would humor me, how they define success.  The best “success construct” that I heard, came from my friend Kristen:  Success is a state, rather than a destination or point in life.  It’s a continuously evolving solution set that expands and contracts with time, and incorporates various ways to reach this state of being.

Which makes sense, because that’s how, grammatically, we define success.  She IS successful.  They ARE successful.  Successful, is an adjective describing a noun (i.e. you) and your way of being.

So if success is a way of being, how do you populate that solution set? And more importantly, how do you choose to be in that state? Meaning that you have to consciously make a choice, every day, to commit to doing activities that will get you into that state of being.  What are those choices you have to make on a daily basis to get you there?

I’m not entirely sure, but I do think my solution set encompasses a few things:

  • Something about personal growth.  I can’t stand it if I am not a better person than I was yesterday.
  • Something about Love:  Re-connecting with some of my favorite people in the world over the last two weeks has been amazing.  I think love in all it’s forms and definitions is important.  On some level, I feel like this is what it means to be human.
  • Something about financial well being: I like stuff, turns out. I’m still trying to figure out what, and how much. But something about having enough financial freedom to do what you want to do with your life. And buy the things you want too.
  • Something about living with integrity: I don’t want to do things I don’t agree with or believe in.
  • Something about fun: I think it’s incredibly easy to lose this, and entirely undervalued as we get older, but I don’t think life is worth living unless you are having fun.

And that’s all I’ve got so far. But I suppose it’s a start.

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