I Don’t Want to Be Your Version of “Successful”

Photo by Daniel Barnes on Unsplash

Ah, success. It’s such a buzzword these days. But it’s also been pushed for a long time — even when I was a kid. I grew up thinking success was something to strive for, something to be achieved. Acquiring money, material items, and prestige was how you became “somebody”.

It wasn’t until after I crashed that I realized all this “success” I was pursuing led to that crash.

We are taught success equals better. A better house, a better car, a better life. It’s how you become happy — and everything you need will fall into place once you become successful.

While that may be true for some, it’s not true for me. And it’s probably not going to be true for you if you have to give up your life to pursue that success.

Let’s be honest, success is not definable as everyone’s idea of it will be different. There is no set standard for success regardless of what is preached to you. There is also no standard you have to live up to or a list of accomplishments you must achieve.

But if you follow popular advice on what society deems success, you will never be satisfied. You will keep chasing what is above you as there is always someone who is more “successful” than you.

So I’ve decided I don’t want to be your version of “successful” — and I’m creating my own version.


Photo by Vladimir Solomyani on Unsplash

You will get all kinds of advice about what you should do, who you should hang out with, how much you should work, and the list goes on. There are some good nuggets of wisdom from these self-appointed “successful” people, but a lot of it is probably not going to apply to you.

Because success is an individual concept. It can’t be passed from one person to the next — even what I write here is for me. But I also want you to know it can be for you, too. You can define your version of success. And it doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s.

So here is my response to all the regular success advice I see:

  • I don’t care if I’m mediocre — because there is nothing wrong with being average. And you don’t get to define for me what that looks like.
  • I don’t care if my car is older — it gets me where I need to go and the stereo sounds really good. You should hear it sometime.
  • I don’t care if my house is small or if I don’t have the newest things to fill it with.
  • If I’m the average of the 5 people I hang around the most (my two neighbors who are in their 60s, my 2 kids, and my dog)— then I am a retired grade-schooler with a tail who humps pillows.
  • I don’t want to grind or hustle — the only grinding I want to do is of some coffee beans.
  • I don’t want to work 60 hours a week only to wonder later on where all the time went. Or allow my health to suffer from all the work.
  • I don’t want to be a “thought leader” — I don’t even know what that means.
  • If I’m a “loser” because I’d rather be happy than kill myself pursuing the almighty dollar, then slap the big L on my forehead.
  • I don’t want to wake up at 4 am, dive into an ice-cold shower, or scream at myself in the mirror. (Unless there are free donuts at 4 am).
  • I don’t want to win friends — I’m fine with what I have.
  • I don’t care about the secrets of millionaires — I don’t want to know about their habits, their sex life, or the fact they spend 4 hours a week working while the rest of the time is spent being fanned by a goddess in a thong on a tropical beach somewhere. #livingmybestlife
  • I don’t want tips from guys about “working harder than me” when they were born on third base and pretend like they hit a triple.
  • I don’t want to “upgrade”, “level-up”, “go viral”, or “take it to the next level”. I’m fine with the level I’m on.

If you want to do all the above, there is nothing wrong with that. If that is your version of success, then go for it. But please don’t try to define it for everyone else.

I want to be MY version of successful. And I become successful by doing it MY way — by accomplishing the things I want to achieve, not what you think I should achieve. Your way to success may be to want all the things I don’t. But there is no secret formula for success which everyone can follow.

Do some things I listed have value? Sure. But what you are doing is focusing on what these people have done to become “successful” instead of investing that time in your own work — in your own “success”. There is no one answer to whatever success looks like. Do it your way — and let others do it their way.

And let me know if you want to hear my car stereo.