What makes one successful? Is it being in the popular group? Is it getting straight A's? Is it winning every race or competition you enter? Is it being the lead in every play? Is it graduating from college? Is it having a career as a doctor or lawyer? Yes, all of the above, show success. But what if someone isn't in the popular group, doesn't get straight A's, doesn't win every race, etc.? Are they not successful, too?
To most, I'm probably, not considered a successful person and, I think, that's unfair. It's true that I was never a go-getter. I didn't try to excel at sports - I swam, competitively, for about 10 years, but I couldn't have cared less if I won the race or what my time was (much to my dad's chagrin). I only stuck with it for so long because I loved being w/ my friends - it never had anything to do with the comptetion or improving my times. I never tried to get good grades - I was fine with being an average student. I didn't graduate from college - I attended for about three years only because I felt it was expected of me and, also, because it's where my friends were. I chose to not have a career - my longest job was being a nanny for six years. I never planned ahead or really gave much thought to the future - I have always lived in the moment. I don't do something to accomplish greatness - I do something because it makes me happy. Why does that make me unsuccessful??
My attitude has always been - if it's not fun, why do it? If something doesn't make me happy, why bother? When I was a nanny I heard many times - "Well, you can't do this forever. You have to get a real job". Hearing that always confused me because I was happy with that job - really happy! I was doing a job I loved - isn't that success?? But in society being a nanny isn't a successful or a "real" job.
Success, in my opinion, is being happy - if you are happy with the choices you make in life then you are a success. I will make sure that my girls know they are a success no matter what they do. If working at McDonald's makes them happy - great! If being a doctor makes them happy - great! If never winning a competition is okay -great! If winning every race is what they want - great! As long as they are happy with whatever they are doing in life they will be a success. I will encourage their endeavors - big or small - and I will always be proud of them!
I love the following quote by Dale Carnegie:
"People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing."