Recently, I was listening in on a conversation between a group of men who were talking about their lives. I gathered from the conversation, that they were social friends, that they knew each other, but that they were not lifelong friends. One of the men was over-confidently chastising another for apparently not achieving much in his career, not because of that man’s intelligence or skills, but solely because of his drive and ambition. I thought to myself, “How can this guy be so incredibly egotistical to have the perceived omnipotent ability to know more than his friend about what is best for him.”
The truth is, he doesn’t. People all have different needs; they have different dreams, desires, strengths, weaknesses, shortcomings, fears, limitations, interests and non-interests that make us all unique. I think it’s important to follow your own individual path, do what’s best for you, and not worry about other people’s judgments.
You are an individual person, ultimately you know what you want, ultimately you know what you need, and you know what is important. There isn’t anyone better equipped than you to know how to make yourself happy. Create your own definition of success for yourself.
Why then is there such a thing as “being on the right path,” and how is it possible for anyone to be judged by another? There isn’t an all-knowing group of people who are the supreme judge and jury for others.
The most important thing a person can do to learn about his or herself, and become happier, is to think about and understand what his or her personal definition of success is. Most people never really understand what they are trying to accomplish in their life. How can they be truly happy if they have no idea what makes them happy? How can you try to accomplish something if you don’t know what it is you are trying to accomplish? In our society people frequently throw around the words, “he or she has become very successful;” it’s never questioned as to what that person is successful at, and it is immediately assumed that they are talking about one, or all of three things: a person’s career, salary, or accumulated wealth.
What about all the other things that go into a person’s life: their family, friends, health, living situation, recreation, ambitions, dreams, and most importantly, state of mind? I assure you there are millions of people out there who have been labeled with being successful, yet they are very unhappy people and possibly working so hard because they have not developed other skills or interests that will make them happy. What’s good for the goose, isn’t always good for the gander.