What if you’re already successful and simply haven’t recognized it, yet? You keep seeking it, stressing out over uncompleted tasks, all the while wondering why success remains elusive. It remains elusive because it sits behind a self-imposed blind spot.
This is the perfect description of the place I have been for the past few year: successful, yet unable to recognize that success. This year, I’m devoted to truly embracing the success I have and embracing the happiness each day has to offer.
I can trace my idea of success all the way back to 4th grade. I was 10. I was depressed. I wanted out of this life and thought about dramatic means to achieve that goal on a near constant basis. That had been my life for years, but on one fateful night in 4th grade, I decided to choose a different path. I gave myself a set of specific goals to achieve success and dedicated the next two decades of my life to those goals
- Get grade grades in school in order to get into a great college
- Travel to a different country
- Learn Japanese
- Learn how to fence
- Live independently for at least one year
- Have a successful and well-paying career
Drive to accomplish this list overcame everything in me for years. Then, a little more than two years ago, I checked the last thing off this list. I was happy and I was lost.
I’ve done a lot of wandering in the past few years, but I it all finally clicked in 2016. I am happy. I have succeeded in every goal I set for myself those many years ago. But I have a blind spot.
Every blind spot is different, but mine is mostly made up of the expectations of others. I have not achieved the things other people think I should have at this point in my life and they let me know. In 2017, it’s time for this to stop.
People will always feel the need to comment on you and your success, especially those close to you. Most comments will come with good intentions as those who love you simply want you to be happiness. But they also have a blind spot: they are not you.
You are the only one who can define what success means to you. Once you define it and achieve it, you have to recognize it. Embrace your success and don’t let anyone convince you that your successes are somehow inadequate.
This is the biggest lesson I learned in 2016 and I’m ready to fully embrace my success in 2017. It’s time to stop worrying about success when I already have it. It’s time to do those things that make me happy with no guilt attached. It’s time to be unabashedly me.