What is success?

Is success a stunning yacht in blue water, or is it much more personal than that? No one can truly give a universal definition of success, for that reason, we are all unique beings capable of holding dear one meaning above another. I cannot define success for any one else – as it is, I’m struggling, still, to define it for myself.

In an attempt at defining it, I’d say success is a state of mind, rich with feelings of self actualization. A state of agency, where one has means to attain their desires or indeed has attained their desires.

But as desires are often fickle in nature, what counts as success in day one, often slides into normalcy over a period of time. Take for example, your first job straight out of university, now that smacks of success, especially if said job was acquired at the height of the credit crisis where paucity of good jobs was the order of the day.

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Fast forward a few years later, one’s entrenched – almost to the point of entitlement: I should have this job I hear your mind whisper; the real problem is you have not moved as quickly as you might have expected. And suddenly, in your mind’s eye, what counted as success is no longer so. Having your job is taken for granted, the corner office perhaps now counts as success, and yet the day job is the guarantor that your bills are paid – success to many a people unable to hold down your job.

Of course, it is right and proper to have ambition, to desire a move from A to B – with B being of a higher social status, better paid job, better perks, and other niceties worth spilling to friends at a weekend barbeque.

But what happens when this does not happen within your projected timeline? Do you slump into a state of anguish until you attain this next level that counts as success? Or do you concede, while forging ahead, that what you have achieved is worthy as it is? These are pertinent questions, for they instruct our levels of happiness whilst striving towards our new set goals.

My sincere take is that one should not postpone happiness for anything’s sake. Savour the things you have achieved. Savour the achievement of others. And though we might portray ourselves as prudently planning for the future, it behooves us to live the day that is already here – the warmth we can feel from the sun, the gust of pleasant wind, these are in the here and now, to be experienced and indeed cherished. Plan towards your success by all means, but then take time to take stock of that which you already have. It might just bring you happiness.

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