Your Success Is Not About You

If there is one exercise that I do regularly, it is to reassess my short-term goals and redefine the meaning of success for that time frame. More often than not, it gives me immense clarity on gauging my pace as well as creating strategies to achieve them.

Over one such conversation with a dear friend, we listed down achievements that are meaningful to each of us. Was it the next big award? Meeting the sales target? What was it that made us feel validated and accomplished?

We are both creative people who do not do traditional jobs. We concluded that- success is really the ability to do something at your own pace and in the manner that you like.

Later that night, I started to think if it was all there was to it. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of merit in sheer freedom- defining your timelines and doing what you love, a lot of which comes from being good at something in the first place. But what if your success was not about yourself? Most of us confuse success with this utopian setting in the future where everything is perfect. But what if success is the journey, instead?

What if success is about creating a small dent; leaving something better than you received it? Think about it, your awards will be received and forgotten, your sales will rise and plummet, but your impact on someone’s life will continue to live after you’re gone. If you’re changing someone’s life for the better, you’re impacting generations. Ideally, impact should go beyond your blood ties and beyond your immediate next, creating a ripple effect with time.

So how would you define your success- the awards you leave behind on your desk or the footprints of your legacy?