In procrastination, I’ve been thinking about success.
Success is not something that you achieve, and keep forever. It is something that you gain and lose. Success is not an award you win and display on your shelf, its more like a state of being that you fall into and out of.
Success is what you have when you feel satisfied with your actions. It could be a promotion at work, or a goal you finally reached. But neither of those things are permanent. You’ll feel happy, or satisfied with your promotion, but eventually you will want more. You’ll see yourself as successful again when you get your next promotion. Until then, you will fall into a state of contentment with your current position.
Or maybe you’ll lose that job. Then what? Are you still successful? Maybe. Maybe not. It’s okay to not be successful.
People also define success differently. For some it’s their job, others it’s charity work, family, money, etc. If you are truly happy, then you are successful.
I refuse to buy into the idea that success is the amount of people who know your name. That’s not success, that popularity. Being famous, or infamous, is a goal for a lot of people who feel that they need to make some big impact on the world. Movie stars, musicians, politicians. These people are all famous because they do something that gets discussed in the media. But they aren’t the only successful people in the world. What about all those people who help those in developing countries. You don’t know all of their names, but does that make them unsuccessful? I don’t think so.
Having tons of money doesn’t mean anything about success, either. Sure, if you have a lot of money you can buy nice things for yourself; a nice car, a big house. But what are those things if you have no one to share them with? Maybe you like being alone. That’s fine. I’m not here to judge your lifestyle. I’m just saying that there are more important things than money.
Some people feel that success requires people to know your name long after you die. That’s a goal for a lot of people. We all know George Washington, Isaac Newton, and Martin Luther King Jr. We consider them to be successful. But they aren’t the only people who have been successful. What about the man or woman who spent their time and money feeding the homeless. They touched the hearts of a whole bunch of people. You don’t know their name, they probably didn’t have a luxury car or huge house, but they were still successful.
The goal of being remembered forever is a ridiculous goal. Forever is a really long time. The earth won’t be around forever, just about four and a half billion more years. People will probably not even last that long. There will come a day when there is no one who remembers anything about humans. Every thing you do in your life will eventually be forgotten, so trying to be remembered is both unattainable and pointless.
This may be kind of disheartening, but not if you think about what it means. You don’t have to be some huge star, just be happy with what you are doing in your life, and don’t give up just because your success is gone.