How do you measure success?

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It’s funny how the more and more I talk to different people about success, the more I dislike the word and wonder how this “thing” can be categorized at all.

Success is COMPLETELY different to each and every one of us.

Take a minute to think about it.

What comes to mind when you hear this word?

A family and a big house?

Being at the top of the career ladder?

A toned and tanned body?

Some of society’s preconceived ideas of success are similar to these, so if what you pictured wasn’t too far off these simple examples then you’re in good company. Reasons for this are (not solely, but a lot of the time) down to the media, the fact we’ve constantly been fed these ideas and brought up to fit into a box labelled “success” – but this “one size fits all” is too small!

Being successful, should simply mean being happy. Why is it an end goal to be achieved? Why are we told that to be successful you must have the car, the job, the house? Material possessions have become how we measure our success and that of our piers. This is ridiculous. Surely the most successful people in life are those that are happiest? We need to work on our minds just as much if not more than we work on our bodies. Being happy can take work, but your own mental health should be worked on everyday.

Money cannot buy you happiness, it can sure as hell make life easier, but without the fundamental pleasures in life, money is just money.

Some of the most successful people I know have had some of the toughest things thrown at them in life. They inspire me to be the strongest version of myself possible and make me reevaluate the way I look at the beautiful people and things I already have in my life.

My nan is one of the most successful people I know. Growing up on a farm she tells me she used to work hard and occasionally have enough money to go to the local cinema. She got married young and raised three children, as well as helping to raise her grandchild who was born when my auntie was just 16. My nan has been married, and divorced, and then engaged for nearly 14 years. She has worked extremely hard all her life. She has lost people that she has been closest to, but rarely have I seen her shed a tear. She has never been rich but she gives and gives and gives, so long as each of us (her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren) have a belly full of food and money to get us through the next few months (at least). Little things in life really do mean the most, a cuppa at my nans almost every afternoon and a chat about life is one of my favourite things in the world. She makes my heart feel so full it could burst.

I have friends who are so so beautiful and talented, but haven’t had the best hand dealt to them when it comes to relationships in their lives. Having children young is never easy, especially as a single parent. One of my friends in particular makes me so proud everyday. She has been treated horrendously by people in the past, specifically the father of her child. However, she has raised (and continues to do so) the most amazing little girl, she works hard to provide for her and still manages to have a beautiful smile on her face every single day. (I would definitely struggle with only a handful of hours sleep a night). This friend is one of the most successful people I know because she has brought an ACTUAL HUMAN BEING into this world, basically single handedly, and she still manages to work, socialise, provide for her bubba and just all round be an excellent person whilst doing so.

There are plenty of other people in my life who redefine what success means to me. I have friends who have battled (and still battle) with their mental health but continue the fight, all while running businesses and caring for family and friends.

Put simply, success to me means being happy and content, pushing yourself to achieve your own personal goals but not being in competition with anybody! And no, nobody is happy 24 hours of everyday. To be happy doesn’t mean you’re never sad/or tired/or angry/upset. To some people, maybe success is in the new car they’ve just bought, or the designer handbag slung off their shoulder. To others success is how many passport stamps they’ve collected and all the memories they’ve made in different countries around the globe. Many people will climb the career ladder and feel successful in 10/15 years time when they’ve reached what they view as “the top”.

It doesn’t matter whether you work for one of the biggest businesses in London, or in a local shop 10 mins down the road from where you grew up. Find what success means to you and go chase it.

Maybe you already have it. If you’re happy and you feel fulfilled, who is going to tell you any different? Everyone views success differently, and chances are that person you think is judging you for being “unsuccessful” in their eyes, is probably just focusing on how they can “look successful” to the next person that they meet.

Maybe we should all just start living for ourselves, focusing less on what is happening to other people, and more on what is happening to us.

Success is being happy and being happy is everything.

Do you feel successful today? Because you should, just enjoy it.

E

 

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