The majority of us are raised to believe that success means a good job, a nice paycheck, a fancy house, a fast car, a beautiful wife, and 3 kids you can barely stand (kidding!). What we don’t ever consider is that success looks different for everyone. What I think is important isn’t what you think is important, and we don’t have to look like the traditional mold (or we can, that’s our right!). Here are a few ideas of what success looks like for a variety of people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Maybe it will help nudge you along the right path for you.
A Huge Family
No matter how much money you have in the bank, you can always have a big family. In fact, the more hands, the less money you might need to make because you can sell your child for slave labor (kidding!). Whatever your reason for wanting a large family, having all of your loved ones under one roof may be how you define success. Even if you’re not what people call “rich,” you feel like you are because you are loved from so many directions.
A Career That Brings Value
There are people who go to law school for years, are hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, and choose to work for a civil rights firm that pays them about what a teacher makes every year. Why? Because what they do matters. They’ll maybe never be able to pay off that debt, but they can rest easy knowing they’re doing work that actually makes a difference.
Creating a Much-Needed Something
Entrepreneurs are some of the most happy and successful people we know, as long as their ideas work. They’re creating something that society needs – something that the Big Businesses out there don’t provide, and they are happy because of it. Even if the idea never takes off, or they never get rich, they’re happy working for themselves and for something they believe in.
Traveling the World
Can you imagine that there are people who forego a nice, secure house and paycheck to live out of a backpack while hopping around the globe? Not many people can do this, but for those that do – that’s how they define success. They look at themselves, what they’ve done, and where they’ve gone, and they can say, “I did that, and I’m happy.” They’re not rich, they’re probably tired, but they’ve got so many amazing stories.
Giving it All Away
You’ve probably read stories about old millionaires dying and leaving all their riches to a charity. Can you imagine? Some people think of that as a darn shame, but for that person, that may be the sign of success. To have so much money at the end of life to say, “Here, take it.” What an amazing life that would be, and what a great gift that person would give.