How do you define success? Is it by the number of digits in your bank account or how big your house is? Do you measure success based on how well your kids are doing at school? Maybe it’s based on how grand your summer vacations are. Some people may base their success on a job title and how high up the food chain they are in their company.
In many cases, success can be defined by a combination of any of those things and more. Personally, success has been a difficult word for me to define throughout my life. In running, I’ve learned the phrase, personal-best (or PB for short). Unless you’re competing professionally, you typically run to achieve your PB time. It’s sort of an unspoken rule that you’re running to compete against yourself and to never measure yourself against your peers or fellow runners. It’s just a general rule of thumb to encourage yourself as well as others and to acknowledge that everyone’s running skills are vastly different. This mentality boded well for me because I’m not a strong runner by any means. Though I’ve run my fair share of 10 kms runs and half marathons, it was always intended to prove to myself that I can complete them and improve upon my own time. When I do browse through the list of finishing times, I’m typically in the bottom third of my age bracket…and I’m totally fine with that because I’m realistic enough to know that I’m never going to be in the top third despite my daily fitness routine and training….I’m just not built to run fast!
I feel so accomplished after a good run and I like to use this metric to measure my success in life. If I measured my success versus others in my age bracket based on wealth, size of home, job title and lifestyle, I would constantly be chasing the stars and feel empty inside.
It’s never been my ambition to live someone else’s dreams, thus it’s a bit easier for me to separate myself from how society typically measures success. A buddy of mine sometimes tells me to invest in a bigger home so that “I have something to show for at the end.”
The dreams, ambitions and goals that our parents, friends and society portrays sometimes clouds the true dreams that we may have of our own.
My dream is quite simple. I hope for a healthy and bright future for my son. One that allows him the creative freedom to do anything he wants to in life that makes him happy. And for myself, I hope to someday live along the coast of Oregon and watch the waves endlessly roll along the beach while I continue my passion in writing.
Feeling success is that little spark inside of you that makes you excited and motivated to continue to pursue. Empower yourself with the courage to stand tall and pursue that which brings you success!