How do you define success?

What is success? Success as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary is

Main Entry: suc·cess
Pronunciation: \sək-ˈses\
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin successus, from succedere
Date: 1537
1 obsolete : outcome, result
2 a : degree or measure of succeeding b : favorable or desired outcome; also : the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence
3 : one that succeeds

Even the dictionary seems to define success upon attaining wealth and status amongst society. Yet in my heart, attaining success should be about attaining happiness.

In school we are taught that to be successful one needs to have high grades. Those with the grades are the ones generally awarded the scholarships and other merit awards. While sometimes personal bests deserve to receive recognition as well. A favorite story of mine is one my husband tells of taking high school physics. The class was asked to write down the grade they hoped to achieve for the semester. Everyone seemed to write down goals that were difficult to achieve. My husband wrote that he simply wanted to pass. When asked to explain himself, he said he knew he was not a high achiever, and he also knew the number of students who passed the course was low, and that of those students who passed, the marks were also relatively lower. Throughout the semester, the teacher would hand back the tests, and would say great job and cheer my husband on when he exceeded his goal.

When I trained to do my half-marathon last fall, I simply trained to finish the race, not win it. On race day I figured my goal time would be 3 hours, and I finished at 2:59.

It is human nature to always want more. Everyone dreams of earning some kind of status within the community. The status could be the fancy car, the big house, the 2.3 kids and a dog. Yet when you reach the end if your life and you had a moderate house with 1 or 2 kids and settled for your run of the mill sedan, does that make you a failure? In that same timeframe, were you happy. Did you have relatively everything you wanted? Were you able to provided your family with everything they needed? Then why are we so consumed with the bigger is better attitude?

My main goal in life is to have a loving, caring husband; to raise my two beautiful daughters to the best of my knowledge, and to provide my daughters and my family with as many opportunities as I can. The material world is simply a facade, the true beauty and ultimate success lie within.

Namaste and have an awesome weekend!


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