A little over a year ago, I was talking to a middle-aged coworker about dating. He advised me, as people often do, to date someone who’s older and more established. (No, he wasn’t suggesting himself). My biggest fear with dating someone older is that they’ll be more successful and won’t be interested in me considering I’m not. I decided to ask him if that was true. He responded, “Well, then that’s not the right guy for you.” Easier said than believed. He mentioned that guys are really just looking for someone who’s loyal, honest, trustworthy, can keep a conversation going, and gets along well with their friends. Phew! There’s a light at the end of the tunnel!
Somewhere in the middle of that conversation, though, I realized that I’ve been defining success by society’s standards. Fame. Fortune. Freedom. Possessions. Beauty. I’m admittedly hard on myself and have a difficult time accepting where I’m at in life. There have been detours, upsets, and decisions made along the way that ultimately got me to where I am now, but I assumed I’d have a better job, my own place or maybe even be in a serious relationship at this point. If I just take a moment to stop thinking about society’s definition, however, and think about how I personally would define success, what would that be? I determined that for me success is having good relationships with the people around me, working towards my goals, helping others in whatever way I can, making the most of where I’m at in life, caring about my health, being able to balance and manage my time effectively, knowing who I am and being the best version of that I can possibly be, and having some free time to do things that make me happy. Everyone’s definition will most likely differ, but what is success to you? Once you have that established, work towards being successful according to your own interpretation.