Play The Supporting Role
By the age of thirty, I need to accomplish something grand — sell a company, become a famed speaker, maintain a blog with an involved and active readership. These all seem like attainable goals and good markers of success, but they were ideas formed on popular notions, and not on what makes me personally feel accomplished, or successful.
Today I am 29 years, 2 months, and 21 days old. With my final year before thirty dwindling away, I’ve begun to scrutinize these self-imposed goals. Why is it that although I’ve become relatively successful, I still feel like I’m failing? Taking a closer look at my accomplishments over the past decade, I’ve realized that the most gratifying moments of my career thus far have been those where I acted as a mentor, worked within teams to create new products, or supported my peers in times of crisis.
I’ve realized that I’m not failing, but that for me, success isn’t being in the limelight, nor is it Twitter followers or venture capital funds. For me, success is empowering those around me. It’s being able to adapt to any situation and to help others achieve their goals.
All this is to say that while it may not be popular or oft sought after, I’ve found success in playing a supporting role, rather than being the center of attention. Now that’s not to be confused with complacency. I’m not done, but the goals and milestones I set for myself have and will continue to change.
It’s important to find your own passion, your own driving force, and to not be distracted by what is common or popular. Determine the factors in your life and career that truly motivate you, and never be afraid to form your own path.