I’m going to be frank here and a lot of people may disagree with what I’m going to say. I have a problem with the majority of the ways that our society defines success. This constant barrage of images and memes that tell you that you’re not living unless you’re pursuing your passion or “doing what you love.” The neverending stream of seemingly inspirational posts about being ambitious and never letting anything hold you back and being the best!
In reality what these things are saying is that there’s only one “right” way to live your life. They completely demean the idea of just being happy with what you do and maintaining a happy work-life balance. I think it’s perfectly acceptable to not do something that’s necessarily your passion but that you enjoy and that pays the bills. No one wants to be miserable at what they do and life is too short for that I think but this whole idea that the only way to have a real and valid life is by doing something that lights your inner fire or whatever is complete bollocks. It’s such an arrogant Western idea too. People in other parts of the world don’t have that luxury. They have to work at whatever job they can get to feed their family. Heck, there’s people right here in the US that have to do the same. Even having a “passion” isn’t an option because they have more important things to worry about.
Furthermore, for all those things that tell you to reach higher and strive for the best, etc…those don’t usually mean do the best you can to help other people. Reach for higher standards of helping the world around you. They mean reach higher for YOU. Strive for the best, for YOU. A lot of time, it’s about greed and climbing the ladder. Striving and reach higher just means you should be wanting to make a six figure salary and have a gold toilet like Donald Trump. We’re taught in this society that if we don’t want to be the CEO then well, we’re just not aiming high enough. Instead of valuing the strengths each one of us possesses (and not all of us want to be CEOs), we intimidate each other into thinking we aren’t doing enough. That if we don’t want to be running our own company and own a penthouse in New York, then we’re lazy and just not trying hard enough.
Success can’t be fit into some defined box. Success is different for each one of us, as it should be. Some of want to be CEOs. Some of us want to start our own company. That’s great. But some of us are happy to report to someone else. Some of us find complete contentment in doing something they really enjoy 8 hours a day even if they don’t have a fire of passion lit from under them every single minute. Some of us are just happy to have a job that pays the bills so we’re able to do other things we love.
I think, instead of trying to pester each other into being a certain way or achieving certain things, we should be encouraging each other to be our truest selves. To be happy with whatever we find happiness in, no matter what that might look like. That it’s ok if we don’t want to run our own company or be super wealthy.
We should be encouraging each other to find ways to help out one another and help out our world. Not pitting ourselves against each other in an effort to achieve some narrowly defined version of “success”. Let success be whatever it means to you personally. Not what some meme on Facebook tells you it should be.