What's Your Version of Success?

One of the many things I find utterly noteworthy when podcasting with the talent that Colt and I have discovered during this podcasting adventure of ours is the sheer work ethic behind the talent on display.  Anyone who has ever attempted to chase their passion, pursue an independent path, and follow a dream can surely relate to the extent of determination and dedication one must possess in order to follow through with his/her respective aspirations.  Pursuing these aspirations does come at a cost and meeting all of these driven people has led me to ask the question of myself, “To what extent am I willing to chase after my dreams?”  I do not believe there is necessarily a right or wrong answer to this question.  Everyone has to calculate what happiness means according to their own formula for success.  For some, working toward a dream takes priority over starting a family while for others, the opposite is true.  For some, work/life balance is the key to success while others blur those lines to the point where work seems like play and so in essence, they are always working.  So, even though there may not necessarily be a universally right or wrong formula to the pursuits of success, one should still ponder his/her respective formula to find out what happiness means on a personal level.

As I read the above paragraph back to myself, I feel a kind of “duh” moment wash over me.  Of course we should consider what makes us happy and pursue those things.  But, the layers of this onion may go deeper than what many of us may have thought; without more deliberate contemplation, that is.  For example, how many of us graduated from school and went into the workforce thinking that financial security was the embodiment of fulfillment?  Later, many of those people discovered a host of things that perpetuated unhappiness such as the concept that “the more money you make, the more money you spend”, not to mention the all-powerful notion that “money can’t buy happiness.”  Another example that comes to mind is that just because something is fun now does not mean it will translate into future fun.  Is what I am doing now healthy for my mind, body, and relationships?  If it is not, then chances are I will live (hopefully) to regret it down the road when I am paying the dues for my misguided behavior.    

Another element of ourselves that we must contemplate when designing our roadmap to success is the element of work ethic.  During the time I had with my father, he was sure to instill in me a host of ethics and principles that were oftentimes crafted into one-line phrases such as “anything worth doing is worth doing well.”  Although he did not coin this phrase himself, he did live by this motto and he taught me to do the same.  Having said that, I’ve always been sure to sparse this phrase into 2 sections: 1. anything worth doing, and 2. worth doing well.  The anything worth doing segment of this phrase is as subjective as it could possibly be.  Something worth doing for you may not be something worth doing for me, but it is up to you and me respectively to figure out the worthwhile endeavors in our lives in a deliberate manner.  The worth doing well segment is something that is closer to being universally applicable.  But, it is helpful to calculate the cost of doing something before you decide if taking on this task is worth doing.  It is okay to dream big, but if one plans on making a dream a reality, then one should consider the costs and base aspirations in realism; lest we falter and ultimately become discouraged.

Realize that my hope for you is to dream and live big; chase your aspirations and work to see them come to fruition.  Work hard and dedicate a sizable piece of your life to make the world a better place.  Go out and do great things, make a contribution to society, and then come on the CEP and let’s talk about your achievementsJ.  And as always, please remember to keep your brains warm out there.