I have been meaning to write my updated thoughts on success for some months now. The plan was to wait until I had fully reconciled the experiences so I could speak from a place of clarity and hopefully share some wisdom. Having said that, I do not think defining success is something that can ever be fully reconciled. The metrics will change as we evolve. So I can only share my definition of success as it currently is.
Here are a few realisations that have reshaped my definition of success. A lightness, peace and greater sense of direction has come with the reshaping.
Being widely-known does not equate to success
I often find myself calling someone ‘underrated’ if I think they are really talented and do not have much of a following in comparison to other people in their field. Whilst coming from a good place, I realised that by me saying this I am equating success to attention received – to how many people validate the talent. As Michaela Coel notes in her 2021 Emmy Speech: ‘visibility these days seems to somehow equate to success’. This is a fleeting metric, namely because it is dependent on what’s trendy at the time or whether you are in society’s “good books”.
Don’t waste your life waiting to go viral before you feel successful. That may not be part of your calling.
The best on paper isn’t always the best for you
I realised I had this entrenched need to pursue what is considered the “best”. Whilst society calls this being ambitious, I have realised that pursuing the best for you is much more productive. By acknowledging the many facets of you, you can place yourself in roles where you will be most effective. At the end of the day you can have the “best” and become your worst self. Striving to be in the spaces you are most gifted for and developing the gift(s) to its full potential is true ambition.
TO: xxxx 26TH JANUARY 2023 It's honestly so refreshing not chasing what you feel you need to be
Define your values
It’s difficult to place yourself in the right environments (roles, relationships etc,) without first defining your values. Who do you want to become? What are the the qualities that make you, you? What is your vision for your life? I have been pondering on these questions and I am finding that values can serve as a compass. It keeps you on the right path and if you go astray, it helps you find your center. When you are rooted in your values it becomes easier to say no to opportunities that may make you appear more successful but compromises those values.
I’m going to leave it here for now but I am sure as time passes there will be more to share on this complex concept called success.
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