Usually success is measured in several categories – power and strength, knowledge and education, beauty, wealth, and fame. The more one has, the more successful one is.
Am I successful? To answer that, we, as a rule of thumb, compare ourselves with others. So, we answer, “yes” if the mood is good. We will answer “no way” when we fell little bit down. But can we have an absolute measurement?
Well, again, yes and no. It always depends on whom we compare ourselves with, others or the self. If I am making $1000 per month, am I successful? If I compare myself to CEO of car making company, than I am nearly a beggar. If I compare myself with a beggar, than I am a rich person.
But what is the use of competing, when we are not equal, when we are all different and unique. Everyone’s potential is one of a kind. Different people are like an elephant and an ant. And we measure their success by the amount of eaten food. Let’s take two pounds of bananas, for example.
The ant cannot consume it, even in its whole lifetime. Besides, the bananas will go bad. As for the elephant it is not enough even for single meal. There will be no satisfaction, only desire for more. It is not right kind of success for any of the two.
But we are not some various and incomparable animals. We all are people. Let’s see, are we so alike as it seems.
Do you take it as great achievement to wake up in the morning and fall asleep at night; do you feel like celebrating it? To say the truth, most of us don't. It’s just something normal and expected to be there.
On the other side, there are lots of people out there who fight for it. Some fight in wars, some - against desperate poverty, some - with life threatening health conditions, and they do celebrate another day as an achievement.
A society paints everyone as clone-like equals. It is superimposing on us a perpetual desire for more and a uniformity of idea of success as a one-fits-all standard.
Most of the time we judge own success by other’s superior achievements. There is no reason for trying to measure up to someone else’s ambitions, if you are already satisfied. It makes you feel stressed and underachieving.
Parents, other family members, and peers – they all have expectations, certain norm of achievement for us. We don’t have to fill the shoes they prepare. Position of a doctor or a lawyer, big house and fancy cars are not necessary. If you want something different it’s your way, it’s your life, it’s ok.
And, similarly, there is no reason to hold yourself to lower standards than you can attain. Especially if the only reason is nobody “like you” did it before. Just a few decades ago African Americans could not go to university, and someone was the first. Don't let the “impossibility” to stop you!
So, next time when you evaluate your level of success, check its picture for authenticity and measure against your own 100% potential.