Sunday, May 17, 2015

Once Something is a Passion, the Motivation is There

What does success mean to you?

It's an intriguing question, isn't it?  It's a question I've been thinking a lot about lately.  With everything that I am doing in my daily life; I wonder, when will I feel successful?  It's an intriguing thought because the answer to that question is different from person to person – my idea of success may be totally different from yours, or hers, or his.  For some, success is measured in the amount of money they have.  I've witnessed firsthand how some people who have a large sum of it automatically assume that people who don't have the same amount are unsuccessful.  I've also witnessed firsthand people who have very little, who live a modest life in terms of material things and income, and they still feel successful and happy and find complete enjoyment within their lives.

So then, how do we measure success?  I'm just thinking out loud here, really.  I guess the conclusion I've come to is that there simply is no universal definition for "successful," unless maybe if it reads "content with one's current state of being, lifestyle, and place in the world." Even then, I know people who consider themselves successful, but still seem discontent.  So maybe for them, contentment isn't a requirement.

It's interesting to ask yourself what success means to you.  What factors would come into play that would help you to feel fulfilled and successful?  For me, I think I would need a few things to feel like I had done well for myself in life.

1) I would need to feel financially secure and stable.  This is really really really important to me, and I'm sure many others feel the same.  I don't need an extravagant home, the latest and greatest of anything, a newer car that has more features than I'd ever use, or even a huge bank account, but I do not want to struggle either.  What I want is to earn enough so that I feel secure.  I want to enjoy the money that I make, and make enough so that I don't worry about the bills being paid.  I want to have enough to enjoy random trips, shopping, and going out with friends and my future significant other (because I don't believe I will be single forever).  I want to make enough to provide for my basic needs, and still have enough left over to set aside for a rainy day, as well as an amount that enhances my quality of life.

2) For me the ability to take a trip, travel, and see the world is imperative.  There are things I can live without, but travel is not something I'm willing to give up.  At the very least, I need one major trip per year, to some place I have never been to before.  Personally, I would prefer to take more than a trip a year, even if it's just a weekend getaway to a city that's close by.  I have pretty intense wanderlust that's only getting worse as I get older.  I have a serious desire to jump on planes every few months and just go somewhere.  A life without seeing this incredible planet we live on seems so wrong to me.

3) Meaningful, long lasting, and non-judgmental relationships with the people I love and even admiration of the people closest to me in life.  If my life fell into shambles, I would need to feel the people I love don't think poorly of me.  What would be the point of developing close bonds with those that don't approve of my life's choices and are constantly trying to get me to live by theirs?  I'm going to make mistakes.  Not every choice we make in life is the right one, or even a good one.  I should have the right to make choices that affect my life with very little interference from those who think their actions are in my best interest.  Unless our actions are directly hurting someone in a criminal sense, we should be given the freedom to make our own mistakes and achieve our own success.

4) I need fulfillment through creativity.  In order for me to feel whole and successful, I need an outlet for creative projects.  I need to feel like I made the right decision to leave a secure job to pursue my dreams.  It's not an easy path.  I hope to one day touch people with my work.  I'm at the very beginning in a brand new journey, but I hope to one day be the expert that people come to for advice.  Maybe what I do here will always be writing and possibly photography (I've always wanted to be a photographer), or maybe it won't.  I'm enjoying the beginning, but I'm still intrigued by how this will play out.

There are many other items I could add, but I'll leave the list here for now.  Just know that when (WHEN!) I have all these things at the same time, I'll pat myself on the back and say, "hey lookie here, I done made it in life!" Until that time, I'm content to be happy with what I do have and enjoy the journey while I strive to achieve more.