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The Definition of Success

Don’t let outside factors tell you whether or not you’re happy.

According to Miriam-Webster, “success” is defined as a “favorable or desired outcome.” It’s pretty vague, right? That’s because while the definition of success is static, the meaning of success differs from person to person. To some people, success means a big, fancy house, five Lamborghinis, and a swimming pool inside of another swimming pool. You know what success means to me? A steady, decently paying job, a quiet, clean home, and general happiness. Not that my meaning is any more right, of course; the point is that you can’t measure your own success by the viewpoints of others.

Some people have that eternal fire in their bellies that makes them crave more and more. If you have that drive and the skills to back it up, by all means, shoot for the moon. But you don’t have to be as rich as Scrooge McDuck to be successful, and sure don’t need that to be happy. Success is not one-size-fits-all.

So why does the differentiation of success matter? Because knowing what you consider to be successful is the same thing as setting a goal for yourself. Wanting something out of life is what makes us human. By pursuing that want, you set your professional standards and limits. In the eyes of the super-duper overachievers, if you go for anything less than the absolute pinnacle of your profession, then you’re a quitter. You are not a quitter. If you get to a point in your career that you’re happy and fulfilled, then you’ve become successful, no matter what anyone else thinks.

Like I said, I’m not telling you to limit yourself. If you want more, then get more. You can do it. But don’t feel like you need to get more if you’re content where you are. That’s not quitting, that’s being realistic.

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