I really wish the cliched photo of a human silhouette standing on a mountaintop or road with arms raised would cease to be the image to represent “success”. I keep seeing it on marketing materials and a quick google search for “success” turns up the same nonsense. It seems so 1990s Tony Robbins which works for some people, but not for me. All I can see, besides lack of imagination and following a tired marketing message is someone expressing their own greatness for having climbed a metaphorical mountain on their own. If that’s success then I’m an abysmal failure!
I have an alternative view of success. First of all, I don’t see people as BEING a success or failure. Whether or not a goal or standard is reached doesn’t define your value. Also, anyone who takes full credit for doing something 100% on their own lacks perspective and humility.
As an example, I worked my a** off to earn my Master’s degree, but without the 12 step alcohol recovery meetings I attended three times a day (Yup! Early morning, lunchtime and evening) and the grace of God I couldn’t have done it. No way could I have afforded the tuition without being awarded a graduate assistantship.
To me, success isn’t just something you can frame and hang on a wall. It’s in the down-to-earth triumphs we can experience throughout a day.
Some personal examples:
Finding joy in cheap yard sale finds like a 1970s board game.
Knowing the size of my spirit is bigger than I am.
Mastering making stove top popcorn in a vintage cast iron dutch oven instead of buying another junk air popper that will die within a year.
Squeezing every last bit out of fall, and not taking healthy, fresh food for granted.
Or dessert purchased from a local ice cream truck, especially when it’s organic maple syrup soft serve with potato chip topping on a gluten-free cone.
Being married to my best friend who enjoys zany backroad adventures as much as I do.
Being someone’s hero.
Feeling triumphant about living a simple life and having the ability to live that dream.
How do you define success?