Success is a loaded word. Culturally, we speak of success through a very narrow scope. We talk about how much wealth people have accumulated and what that can afford them – houses, cars, infinity pools, etc. Growing up in a generation that watched MTV Cribs perpetuated this singular focus of what it looks like to “have arrived” and become successful. We also look at influence as a metric of success, basically boiling down a person’s accomplishments to a popularity contest (ahem… instagram followers).
Don’t hold yourself to those measures. Identify a new definition of success for yourself and your community. For example, when I think of success, I think about how well my interests, passions, and purpose are aligned. Too often, we live our lives segmented into many different buckets… we work to make money, we volunteer our time to contribute to society, we pursue the hobbies that energize us, and we spend time with friends are family where we can. The question is, is there an alignment on any of those fronts that will allow me to maximize my time and energy in any of those categories by combining them?
Can I use my hobbies to contribute to society?
Can I work with my friends?
Am I involving friends/family in the hobbies I am pursuing?
Can my work also serve as the way I impact the world?
Do I need to quit my job and do something that I am more passionate about?
Ultimately, I believe this to be the most sustainable way to live our lives. Let’s not do the things we hate, just so we can spend some time participating in the things we love. Let the things you love, drive the ways you engage in your work and passions.