- the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
- the attainment of popularity or profit.
- a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity.
I’m in the midst of a personal inquiry and I can’t help but think I’m not the only one.
Lately, I’ve been curious and have been reflecting on my thoughts and feelings about the meaning of success. It’s a driving force in our lives, everyone is doing it, and I’m not sure whether my definition of success is helping me or hurting me at times.
Take my recent trip to Cuba. I went there to do research on the creative art scene and explore the possibilities of shooting a documentary. In a country with limited access to instant gratification like Amazon Prime, Uber anything, faster than light speed internet, or the latest anything, why would I encounter some of the happiest, open, generous people I have ever met? Their levels of success would barely register on our scale and it made pause to consider how I am defining my success, my happiness, and myself.
Success is normally defined as accomplishment, the achieving of a goal, the acquisition of something. I’m not knocking those definitions but what seems to happen to me is that in pursuit of one goal while still dealing with a previous goal and chasing the next one, I leave very little room for actually feeling successful. The fact is, today we have more food, cars, and clothes, better health, double the income, bigger houses, and more conveniences than we had 50 years ago. Yet, according to the World Database of Happiness, we have not become any happier.
Don’t get me wrong, every time a shoot comes off without a hitch, a client is happy and I’m offered another job I call that success and clearly my preference is to continue in that direction, but I am also checking in with what I value and shape my own inner definition of success and accomplishment.
So for your consideration, ask yourself these questions and check in to notice what’s driving your definition of success.
Is it truly yours or your parent’s or society’s?
Are you still striving for your 20 year old’s goals of success or updated them in your 40’s?
How do you define success?
What do you do daily to achieve it?
I’m thinking the more aware we are of what our own definition of success is and we practice attaining it, the happier we become. I’m going to try it out and see.
See you on set.