We are in a crisis of success. The conventional path to success has completely dried up. We are graduating from college without job opportunities. We are ineligible for low paid jobs. There is not enough security to hold the same job for 20 or 30 years as our parents did. Not to mention the growing student debt, evaporated social security, and the long-term effects of the recession.
But even those of us who have been able to build a stable career are still far from successful. We fix it. We do everything right. We get the right internships and jobs. Network with all the right people. Keep our time. Pay our dues. And expect to be rewarded with a pot at the end of the rainbow – money, fame and power that will transform us into the people we want to be.
And we still can’t get success.
The fact is that we have been pushing the definition of success in society for so long that we do not even question it. We fight for money, fame and power because that’s what we’re supposed to do. It is supposed to make us happy. But once we reach it we will never be happy if it is not what we first wanted it to be.
We millennials pride ourselves on redefining everything — relationships, gender dynamics, technology, and even fashion. But, when it comes to success, we are still living with an old definition. And working on someone else’s definition of success will never make us happy.
The real reason we are not successful is because we are following someone else’s rules.
We are judging ourselves against someone else’s metrics. So we lose the mark because it doesn’t really matter to us.
For some people, success means traveling. And one year traveling around the world is more important than a dignified career. For others, success means expressing yourself. And it’s even more important to write a blog that shares your views with the world. And yet for others, success means making an impact and changing lives. And no amount of world fame can replace it.
Who can say that someone with a salary of $ 1 million is more successful than a struggling actor, fulfilling his dream? Who’s to say that wearing sweatpants all day is less successful than wearing a suit?
The bottom line is that today we have a unique opportunity to define and create the kind of success that we really want – that is actually going to make us happy. In the days when Justin Bieber could become a multi-million dollar sensitivist from YouTube videos and anyone could start a company with a laptop, we have endless tools to empower us to build success on our own terms. Never before have so many people had success.
But we cannot judge our success by the rules of others. We need to know who we are. We need to know what we want. We need to define success for ourselves and then match our efforts against that metric – not anyone else’s.
The real reason you don’t succeed is because you don’t define success for yourself.
You haven’t figured out what success means to you. Because, once you do that, you have given yourself a clear roadmap to fulfill your dream.
The key to success is a personal journey. You are the only person who can make it for yourself. And you are the only person who can decide if you have achieved this.
Enough already. Build success on your own terms.
Mike Email is the author of an upcoming book Enough is enough: build success on your own terms (Connery Press 2015). He specializes in helping entrepreneurs redefine and help them build success on their own terms to turn their passion into a thriving business. After recovering from a debilitating illness, Mike left his high-powered public relations career to find his own version of love, success and happiness. Through his regular contribution to the national publication as well as his popularity Weekly Success BlogMike has encouraged millions to reject the blanket definition of society and create success for themselves.
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