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Re-defining American Success

“If we don’t define success, we will never be successful” - Christy Barre

“If we don’t define success, we will never be successful” – Christy Barre

Success. Something we strive for. Something we strive to be. Something we strive to do yet do we really understand what success conceptually is.

Success is ambiguous.

A poor town in Haiti might define success by putting dinner on the table.Success for Sofie might look like landing a six figure job. Success for Joe might look like being CEO of his company. Success for me means happiness.

We get asked all the time, “What do you do for a living?”, “When are you getting married”, “Oh, when is the boyfriend coming to town?”, What college are you going to?”, “What’s your five year plan?” The list goes on.

But somewhere amongst all these questions, we forget the question, “Are you Happy?”

The most important question for survival is forgotten.

Forgotten amongst the societal pressure of external validation.

So today, we are re-writing our own definition of success.

What does success mean to you? If you’re currently staring blankly at this article and saying “I don’t know”, I don’t blame you. Society as a whole does not teach us to define success internally, but externally. By the degree we get from University or the position we hold at our company or the amount of money we make.

ARE YOU HAPPY. Three simple words in the form of a question could change someone’s life.

Depression is one of the most common forms and symptoms of mental illness in the United States, with around 7.4 percent of adults suffering from depression as of 2016 according to John Elflein published in Statista.

With depression on the rise in todays society, it is IMPERATIVE that we understand what makes us successful. If we do not define success for ourselves, how will we feel fulfilled or successful.

If you are struggling with defining success or finding your happiness here is an exercise I love to do on a daily basis.

First off, brain dump, get all your thoughts and ideas out onto a piece of paper so you can see them first hand, read them and then organize them. Trust me, it’s crazy when you can see your thoughts on paper.

Second, I want you to envision your *dream life and answer this question, What does success mean to me? And write this down! Stay true to this and you will be more fulfilled.

When you achieve this step of success, you can create another one. But until then, one step at a time and remember to ask yourself, “Am I Happy?”.

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- MARCUS AURELIUS

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