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What makes a person successful in this life? Is it dying with a big ol’ pile of money? Is it having the most friends? Is it the big house and fancy car? Is it being recognized by others for your achievements? Is it being pretty and well liked? Is it bagging a perfect spouse? Getting that kid into Harvard?
Over the years I have dramatically redefined my perspective on personal success. Everyone has their own criteria, but for me it has nothing to do with any of the above. I have come to realize that true success has little to do with worldly achievements and everything to do with the inner peace that comes from not needing them.
Am I a successful artist? Absolutely. I am not getting rich off of my creativity, but I am earning a living. If my spouse died, I could support myself entirely on my income. I only have to work a few days a week now thanks to years of time investment. I make money while I sleep and on the days I do not work too. In my own mind, that is success. I ignored those that said I couldn’t do it and I worked hard to achieve my goals.
Am I a successful Mom? You bet. I turned away from my abusive upbringing and defied the odds. I did not perpetuate the abuse and I’ve helped my autistic daughter find her own voice. I have supported her every step of the way and encouraged her to love herself just the way she is. I did not teach hate or prejudice and as a result she has friends of all races, religions and sexual orientations. She is now enrolled in college and doing all of the things normal folks do. She didn’t go for an Ivy League school, but one that fit her goals. She didn’t win a bunch of awards or get a perfect SAT score. But she is happy. To me this is one of my greatest achievements and I feel pretty successful as a parent.
Lastly, am I successful overall? The are so many ways to achieve success: Relationships, Job, Health, Family, Hobbies, Fitness, etc. The simple answer for me is: Yes. The detailed answer would be far too long to expect the average blog reader to get through. I am at a point in my life that I no longer concern myself with how others view me. I am satisfied and happy with who I am and all I’ve done. In the end, that is all that matters. So, yes, I am truly successful.
Do you see yourself as a success?