So I was doing an interview, recently. An email interview, where I was sent a series a questions and asked to please answer some of them. In general, I like this kind of interview and use them myself. It’s low-pressure and the person you’re interviewing can just pass on whatever questions s/he is not interested in answering.
Anyway, one of the questions was, “How do you define success?”
It was a question I wanted to answer, and so I started to write. And write. And write. Fifteen minutes of incoherent babble later, I stopped.
I have a vision of what I want my ideal life to be. It’s fairly specific. I don’t want to be famous. Or be fabulously wealthy. But I do want certain things. And I think, and here’s the big thing, that my ideal life is a somewhat realistic ideal. Given where I am now. I think I can maybe get there by the time I’m 50.
These goals I have, they are dependent on my own hard work. And some luck, too. And they don’t require my falling in love and having a significant other. If one of those comes into the picture, that’s cool. He can come along for the ride. If not, that’s cool, too. But my ideal life doesn’t include him. Not as a requirement.
So here’s the thing, and here’s why I couldn’t really answer the question about success. I have this vision. And I’m on the path. But what if I never make it all the way there. Chances are, I probably won’t. Chances are, I’ll have to settle for something less. Most people do. Have to settle. I get that. But as a goal-oriented person, I need the goal. I need the vision. The light at the end of the tunnel. Insert your own bad metaphor here.
I was actually really conflicted as I wrote my definition of success (and eventually just scrapped it). Am I NOT successful until I reach my goal? Because that doesn’t seem right. I’m a fairly happy person. I have less happy days. Days when I just want to run and hide. But doesn’t everyone?
Maybe the answer (MAYBE) is that success is about working towards my goal, and enjoying the journey. Or something like that. I don’t know. I am enjoying the journey. And I am excited about the future. Whether or not that’s success, it’s going to have to be good enough for now.
Tags: Happy, success