Success is often how people define our accomplishments in life. And most of the time, it is actually measured through other people’s standards of what “success” should mean.
But how about you? Do you really feel successful when they congratulate and praise you?
Perhaps you’ll say yes. But do you wonder why you still feel sad even though everybody’s telling you how awesome and great you are because of all your achievements? Then why is it that you feel more like crying than being happy about it?
It can be because they are defining success for you. You are accomplishing goals based on the criteria of success set by your family, friends, relatives, colleagues and the society itself.
But maybe you’ll realize these things if you allow yourself to define success the way you really want to define it:
• It doesn’t always have to be in the forms of awards, titles or recognition.
Yes, those are rewards for all your hard work in school or in the company. But what if your hard work and efforts are not good enough for the standards of your school or company? Does it mean that you failed in accomplishing your goals? The answer is no. You didn’t fail because you exerted efforts and pushed yourself to achieve something. You’re successful in improving yourself one step at a time by doing that.
• It doesn’t always have to be according to other people’s happiness.
You have to set your very own goals in life, the ones that will really make you feel glad when you’ve finally accomplished them. You might encounter people who will look down on you because the way you carry out things, and the way you think of success, are different from theirs. Thus, they feel that you’re not doing it the right or the better way. If you meet these types of people who make you feel as if you’re not getting somewhere, just smile at them, respect them and their opinions. But follow your heart and your own mind. So keep reaching for your dreams the way you’ll feel happy and at peace with yourself even before you conquer them.
• It doesn’t always have to be based on material gains or wealth.
Oh yes, having plenty of money and living a luxurious life can be very tempting. And most of us only feel fulfilled once we have obtained material assets or riches. But then again, all those wealth you’ve acquired obviosuly didn’t provide you with true success. Why? Because you still feel lonely.
• It doesn’t always have to be a step forward.
Well, this is pretty confusing, but there are some of us who prefer to make a step backward than a step forward in order to feel happy about ourselves.
If you belong to this group of people, you know that climbing the corporate ladder is not your definition of success. You just feel lonely as you climb a step higher, so you step down instead, and follow the paths to your own definition of success.
It can be that you prefer a simple life. You don’t have to be the boss of the company to feel successful. It’s enough that you’re earning money for all your simple needs and you’re saving some of it for the future. It can be that you’re already contented not being at the utmost top. You’re happiest when you’re in the midst of less-fortunate people who’ve been motivated by you to reach for their dreams. You feel truly successful every time you touch other people’s lives.
The meaning of success varies from one person to another.
You just can’t force others to define it your way or vice versa. The best thing to do is respect the perception of others the same way that you want to be respected for your own perception of success.