What’s it mean to be successful?
Society would have us believe the epitome of success is earning lots of money, living in a big house, and driving a fancy car. Many people chase after these things only to find that once they have them, their lives are still missing something. In the eyes of the world they’re seen as a success, yet they feel empty; all of their accomplishments seem inconsequential. Their hearts are left aching for something more meaningful.
They followed the course they thought would bring them happiness and success. They have a “good” job and a retirement plan; each year they take a vacation to another island in the Caribbean. But still they’re disappointed with the way their lives have turned out.
Because they sacrificed their passion for prestige. Their love, for money. Their life ambition, for acclaim.
Forget about money and fame. They have nothing to do with living a successful life. Success, as defined by John Wooden, is:
“…peace of mind attained only through self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you’re capable.”
But not only must you do the best of which you’re capable, you have to define exactly what success means to you (it’s something different for each of us), then follow that path with ruthless intention. You might win the admiration of others by conforming to someone else’s standard of success, but you certainly won’t find peace of mind.
What you want to do with your life might be different from what everyone else is doing. That’s okay. Allow yourself to escape from the expectations of the world in order to create a life that’s right for you. If you’re not interested in going to college, getting married or having children, don’t go, don’t do it, and don’t have any. Chase your dreams and live on your own terms! This is your one and only chance at life; don’t let your direction be guided by anyone else. Listen to your heart, follow your passions and be true to yourself.
That’s the secret to success.