Let me start with this admission: I want to be successful.
To some that might sound obvious, but in other crowds the word “success” is a dirty one. Artists and working class friends sneer at the idea as selfish and unaware.
Some of success is money. Enough money to make decisions with your money rather than your money making decisions for you.
One of my favorite songs by a Pittsburgh musician (Crisp Lake), and friend of mine, says “When you see the wheel, I hope you know which way to steer.” I hope so too.
That song wasn’t written about me. He wrote it before we ever met. However, I always feel like that line is speaking at me directly.
I am the artist friend who focuses a lot more than my friends on the business aspect of the field. A lot of the time I’m made to feel like a sellout either directly or indirectly.
A lot of my time is spent on self-improvement. I’m a bit of a workaholic, but even work-life balance is something I’m committed to figuring out. Maybe I’m a control freak because I want to control every facet of my life.
Success to me is freedom. Everyone gets to define what success means to them. I think when most people hear that seven letter word they think of Bill Gates or Warren Buffet. They think of it in terms of money.
There’s part of me that does too. Some of success is money. Enough money to make decisions with your money rather than your money making decisions for you.
It’s important for everyone to identify what success means in terms of financial status. For me that’s a little above the average income so I can make investments in projects that I want to see make a difference. The other parts of what success looks like are health, love, and happiness.
A book I recently read (Habits of a Happy Brain) defines the “happy chemicals” in our brains as Dopamine, Endorphins, Oxytocin, and Serotonin. It made it really easy to pinpoint each part of my life that I can work on to achieve health, love, happiness, and even wealth.
For me it goes a like this:
That massive goal part is something I recently had to refocus on. I have a tendency to go all over the place with my passions and ambitions. The question is never “Do I want it bad enough?” but rather “What is IT that I want?”
Hard work only matters when it’s directed towards a goal. So working aimlessly, but hard, for an undefined IT feels like burning rubber. It’s not getting me anywhere.
So I’m going to write another post about how I’m working on gaining more clarity in my goals and focusing on those goals. In short, goal-oriented meditations and deep work is my solution.
What does success mean to you? Is it something you feel like is a dirty word or something everyone should be open about striving towards in their own way?
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