What does success mean for you?

So I don’t usually tackle serious subjects or go that in-depth into my thoughts or feelings on the blog, but I’ve had this on my mind for a while and I think blogging about it will help me.

Everyone defines their own personal success in a different way. I’ve always defined success in terms of school and work. I’ve always been successful in school. Good grades came naturally for me (until grad school) and it wasn’t difficult to be successful. Not to mention my parents expected success in the classroom and failure just wasn’t an option. I think the fear of disappointing my parents definitely helped pushed me to succeed in school. But that wasn’t everything, I just wanted to be successful and school was the best way to show I was successful. No one congratulates you for the little successes in life, like brushing your teeth every day or cleaning up after yourself. It’s always school work.

Now that I’m not a student anymore, success becomes all about your work. While you’re in school no one really judges success on your part time jobs. Like wow Amy you’re so successful with your job waiting tables or working at the front desk of a salon. But once you’re out in the real world, it’s like oh you wait tables (with a pitiful look on their face). Luckily I’ve always managed to get good jobs when in the real world. After undergrad I immediately started working with The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach as a supervisor. When you work at a five star, five diamond resort with a hotel management degree, people think your successful. After grad school (which just ended a month ago), I got a great job as an Internet marketing manager, and people definitely consider that to be a success.

Success in work and school is great and obviously important, but there’s one area I’ve always wanted to be “successful” in but just can’t seem to ever really be successful in, relationships. I put so much into relationships because I consider it to be the one area where I just fail. And I realize relationships are supposed to fail, until you find the right person for you, but it doesn’t make the failure any easier.  I think I take break ups so hard because I look at it as a personal failure instead of a part of life and growing into a better person. As I’ve grown older I definitely am able to look back and learn from my past failures. I’ve realized I tried too hard to force success in relationships that just were never going to work. And I guess it took my most recent break up to understand that no matter how hard I try, a relationship takes both people to be successful and if it isn’t right for one, then it’s not going to work. It definitely doesn’t take away the sting of failure, but it does make me realize that the right relationship for me, is where I’m not the only trying, where the other person wants it to succeed as much as I do, and will fight for the relationship to work just like me.

I know that I am a successful person, just not as successful as I truly want to be. My successes in school, work and relationships with friends and family are very important and meaningful to me, and I wouldn’t change anything about them. I just want a little more out of my life. One day I’ll get there and until then I’m going to enjoy the success I already have and take the failures in stride.

And I just want to say that happiness is a good definition of success. If you like waiting tables and you’re happy with that as a job, then I consider that to be success. I think we all define our own success and this is how I’ve defined my version of success.

What is success for you?

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9 thoughts on “What does success mean for you?

  1. Wow Amy, I feel like you just wrote about my life. Amazing post! Like you, I’ve always been successful in school, but I’ve definitely been “unsuccessful” in relationships. But I think we need to realize that a relationship that doesn’t work out isn’t necessarily a failure. Some might even view it as a success! My mom told me that the right person will come around when you stop looking for it, because you will stop forcing relationships that do not work. Focus on yourself and what makes you happy…the right guy will gravitate to you 🙂

  2. I find it funny that we are always chasing success, but it takes a long time to really find out when we have it.

    A while back, when I was working and going to high school, one of my co workers– an mid 30’s Cuban immigrant– told me that success was not how much money one made (or how much we accomplished), but rather how happy we were with the money we made (and the accomplishments we made).

    After I dropped out of HS, I spent many years chasing being the best as a young cook– and I got great opportunities & never did bad per se– and spent a few extra years in a relationship that didn’t fulfill me, all in the pursuit of success. At 30, I decided to make a change!

    While divorce was hard pill to swallow– economically speaking– and leaving a secure job behind was also, along with taking new challenges by leaps and bounds; I can now say that I’m happy with the money I make (still way less than previous combined income), and with what I wake up to do every morning. And
    Am still taking chances by leaps and bounds, w/o looking back. I think I’ve finally become successful because I’m happy when I wake up every morning.

    I’m sure when you least expect it, the right relationship will come your way!

    Best wishes!

    • Thanks! I think your story shows the success is totally what you want it to be. I think happiness is the best gauge of success, even though I’ve totally just figured that out for myself 🙂

  3. Great post Amy! I definitely think that sometimes I get too caught up in success with school or tangible things instead of focusing on being successful in relationships. I am successful with my relationship with my bf, but some of my friendships are not always successful and that can get me down. But, I really think that ultimately, being happy in your life is the true meaning of living a successful one!

    • When you’re in school, success just seems to revolve around it, especially with grades. Don’t let unsuccessful friendships get you down, if they are true friends then it will all work out 🙂

  4. Interesting and thought provoking post. This reminded me of a Henry Ford quote that I have lived by in business and relationships. He once said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” The intelligent part is hard in relationships since the heart normally takes over, which can be good and bad.

  5. Pingback: Texting vs Talking « My Life as a Lazy Girl

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