Well I’ll tell you what it’s not. Even thought many of us like to periodically visit our own personal Fantasyland complete with its mansions, servants, fancy cars and trips to exotic places (check under the heading of “What I Would Do if I Won the Lottery”) most of us over the age of twelve with any experience under our belts are realistic enough to recognize our Fantasyland for what it is. A fun place to visit but one sorely lacking in personal fulfillment.
Unfortunately, there are many in our society who have bought into the concept that equates “success” with big money. And you can’t really blame them. Our entertainment industry and the media have vigorously promoted this concept. “Join us now as we take a closer look at the lifestyles of the rich and famous!” “Travel in luxurious style in our Really Expensive Vehicle!” “Are you ready to be a Success? I made a million dollars last year and you can do the same!” “Dress for Success with this Really Expensive Suit from the Really Expensive Store!”
OK, all you with a huge checking account and a pile of assets can just relax and take a deep breath. I personally feel than anyone who has worked hard and has earned their money honestly is deserving of at least a pat on the back. There’s a good chance that a lot of people have benefited in one way or another from your efforts. That’s another checkmark in the plus column.
So yes, money can be an indication of – or a result of – success. But it ain’t “success”.
So what is success anyway? Here’s old Gene’s personal opinion. Success is simply taking the steps to do the things you want to do. And it doesn’t matter what those “things” are. It can be just being the best mom or dad possible. Or being the best teacher or secretary or tree-trimmer or banjo player or dog groomer or volunteer that you can possibly be. And no, you don’t need to be better than anyone else at what you like to do. Just working to be the best you can be – at whatever interests you - immediately qualifies you as a huge SUCCESS!
So don’t waste the time and energy trying to compare yourself – that unique, special “you” – to anyone else. Don’t drive yourself bonkers trying to live up to what you may see as another person’s success. It’s not a valid comparison and it’s just not worth the effort. Instead, focus on what you want to do – what you want to accomplish in life. If you’ll set this image in your head and work for it, you can immediately consider yourself to be “successful”. In fact, maybe you should get a plaque or poster that says “I’m Successful!” and place it in some highly visible spot in your house or apartment. What the heck. You deserve it!