I’m not sure when, but at some point the idea of success in our society turned into this “American Dream” that everyone desired. You wanted the kids, the dog, the house, the fence, the job, the salary, the desk, and if you didn’t, well then, whats wrong with you?
I feel like we have definitely moved away from the “American Dream” idea of success, but I also feel like our success is still being measured up to someone else’s expectation. A mold that has been in play for years, especially when it comes to your career. We emphasize the individual, but then assume everyone’s definition of a successful life will be the same or similar.
I think its important to define what you feel success really means to you. In all aspects of your life; career, home, family, etc. Here are a few questions I’ve asked myself lately:
What is more important, salary or flexibility?
When you think about your career, ask yourself how much flexibility and freedom you would sacrifice for money. Are you willing to sacrifice any at all? Is there a threshold of money where the cost of time outweighs the benefits of financial comfort?
Do you want to own a home or is a nomadic life more you?
Owning a home used to be one of the ultimate signs of success, but recent financial situations have made it less appealing. However, if that will make you happy, then that is what you should do. On the flip side, is renting a small place to store your stuff while you travel more your style? Or renting an apartment in the city that fits your lifestyle and brings joy to you everyday more your thing? There is no wrong answer.
What amount of annual income would make you comfortable?
None of us like to think about it, but money is a part of the our lives, so let’s just briefly address it. Give yourself a number, realistically, that would make you comfortable and allow you to pursue the activities that make you happy. Try not to think in excess, wanting an excess of money tends to drive people to doing things that compromise their other success factors, like freedom and flexibility.
These are questions I’m answering for my life and success right now. The only person who can measure your success is you and if its on your own terms, I’m sure it will measure up!