Success and how we define it.

I was on a quest for success. It was my mission to find it, live it and thrive on it. This was something I thought about every day: this self-imposed pressure on my itinerary of life. This went on for quite some time. “Prime” years of my life spent under a dark cloud. Was success a corner office? Was success being a boss? Was success working from home, making my own hours doing something I loved? Was success having a spouse and kids? Was success making $60,000? Was success making $150,000? I thought about it all. I did not know which identity I was supposed to take on to evaporate this aura of inadequacy.

You come to a time in life where everyone around you is fitting into one of the molds mentioned above. It served as a constant reminder that time was passing and my success was fleeing. I wasn’t exactly spending my time at bars going down on nachos waiting for success to walk in the door and save me. I had a job and I worked hard. I knew that much. I knew that if I worked hard enough, long enough, sooner or later, success would find me. It had to. And then it did but not how I ever envisioned it.

It was a Saturday I will not forget. Nothing unusual, dinner with friends. At this point, I was thinking about success daily and then it hit me. I know exactly where I was standing. I had gotten up from the couch to go into the kitchen to keep my hosts company. As I walked into the kitchen a wave of accomplishment and fullfillment came over me. I felt success. It was an instant understanding. My mind had found peace. I had found it in the company of my friends. My success was in my friendship with them. They meant a lot to me before this but I never thought of success as a feeling but more as a job title or a salary. What people saw when they looked at me was the benchmark I was using. I had gone about it all wrong.

My success is in that friendship that nurtures me and watches me grow as a person. That allows me to be vulnerable and gives me safety when I need it. It is that friendship where in a world full of make-believe, I do not need to put filters on my feelings. This is the foundation I needed to pursue that job title or the salary that comes with it. The molds are a perk to the successful life I am already living.

I feel liberated from society. That dark cloud has disappeared. I care less about what people think of me and put more effort into maintaining that foundation that will keep me going. All this to say that if you are in a constant battle to define success for yourself, look around you, you probably already achieved it.