This is something of an “interactive post,” folks. If you can bear with my rambling thoughts in the beginning about my birthday and my horoscope and all, eventually I will get to the point of what this post is all about – discovering your own idea of what success means. I do hope you will take a few moments to share your own thoughts on the definition of success in the commentary section!
Back in October, I celebrated my 51st birthday. It was a rather quiet affair, since I really didn’t have the money or the opportunity to do anything special. Ate a free dinner at a local barbecue restaurant (wasn’t too bad), got a free drink at a local pub I frequent, read my birthday wishes from friends on Facebook (thank you!) Nothing really exciting.
I also took a moment to check my daily horoscope and see what it had to say for my birthday. I confess that while I do believe in astrology, I take these horoscope things with a grain of salt… but I still do find them interesting to read, and there have been times when they’ve been amazingly accurate.
So this is what it had to say for October 25th, my birthday:
Born today, you know what you want, but you don’t always know how to get it — and this can be a source of intense frustration for you throughout your lifetime. It may seem, at times, as though you’ve been left out in the cold, separated from those who are enjoying the success they so desire. Or you may sense that while others were learning valuable life lessons, you were learning things that were completely impractical and could never propel you forward toward your goals. Much of this is mere illusion, however; avoid making such excuses for yourself.
The truth is that you have tremendous talent and tremendous potential — but sometimes lack the drive required to fulfill that potential and reap the greatest benefits from that talent. Only you can remedy this situation, of course; do so, and the world is yours.
I must confess…when I read this birthday horoscope, I ended up crying a little. It describes so accurately how I often feel these days. That sense of frustration that I deserve more than this, that I should be doing more than this, but somehow I’m being left out in the cold. I see others who are happy and successful and doing well, and then I look at myself:
“I’m 51 years old, and what do I have to show for it?”
It just feels like in the last ten years or so my life has taken a downward slide. I haven’t been as successful professionally as I would like – traveling from job to job, and I haven’t even lasted more than a couple of months at some of them. I haven’t found my soul mate, and I’m not doing what I really want to be doing with my life.
As for that feeling of “learning things that are completely impractical” – I often joke around about how it seems I have this knack for learning asinine facts that serve no practical purpose but to win Trivia Pursuit games. As for learning anything that could actually propel me forward towards my goals…
I decided to share my thoughts with some of my close friends, and naturally they all had words of comfort and support. Many of them could identify with how I was feeling and what I am going through.
But it was my friend Quinn who really had an interesting, thought-provoking response for me. She started with wishing me a Happy Birthday, and then reminded me of the wisdom and knowledge I have gathered over the years. The problem is, as she clearly stated… I seem to be struggling with how to use it.
Quinn then went on to ask me a simple, and yet not-so-simple question:
Let’s start with something simple.
Everyone has an idea of what success is.
What is your idea of success? Is it money, friends, a comfortable home? Is it a job you love? I can’t define it for you. But until you know, no one else will.
So let’s start there.
Tell me what success is, and then we can go on to the next step.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I was struggling with this question. Just what is my definition of success? Do I really not know… or do I just not want to deal with coming up with an answer I can be comfortable with?
I suppose I could take the easy way out and say “all of the above!” Sure, I would like to have enough money so I can go to sleep at night without worrying about the bills. Certainly it’s nice to have friends. I wouldn’t mind having a nice comfortable home, or that dream job that I absolutely adore.
But are these truly my definitions of success?
I admit that I am still pondering this one, folks. It seems that for every idea of what success means to me, I come up with yet another one that seems even better. I guess my definition of success depends on what time of the day you’re asking. Sometimes it’s just as simple as being able to find my damn car keys. Other times it’s as complicated as finding inner peace, and contentment with who and what I am.
But as Quinn says…
“Until you know, no one else will.”
So I’d now like to ask YOU, gentle reader.
What is YOUR idea of success?
How do you define success?
Please share your thoughts below…
I’d really love to know what you think!
Note: Quinn is a Certified Creativity Coach
learn more about her at her website
or her blog
I encourage you to go check her out
She’s a really cool person, and a great friend. Thanks, Quinn!