In our lives there are many variations of the drive that people have within themselves. Some have an unending push to always excel at everything. Some work to be successful, but are content with balancing life and work and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Others just coast in hopes of making it through each day until they get to the next. Each has it’s positive and negative aspects and each maintains a level of drive to varying degrees that achieves what they are trying to accomplish, no matter the level of effort required.
When determining whether or not each of those different levels of drive is successful, you have to really understand what the measurement of success is. What is considered successful for you may not be the same for another. We also fall into the trap of measuring another’s success by our own standards, which may not always be accurate. Would you consider a person who works 14 hours a day, lives in a large mansion, has more money than they can spend yet has no time for their family, lives on antidepressants and never takes a vacation successful? How about a person that gets up in the morning, performs their 9-5 job admirably, pays their bills, attends their children’s extracurricular events, yet spends everything they make and lives one lost paycheck from poverty? Or, how about the person that gets up, goes to their restaurant server job, pays their bills, spends time at the beach, hangs out with friends and generally enjoys life?
By their standards, all of these people might consider themselves successful. Yet, when we evaluate them by our own standards we potentially see things very differently. My point is that success is not something to be defined by others, it is something that is determined within our own lives. If we are maintaining the appropriate drive to get us to a level of satisfaction with our lives, where we feel that we have accomplished our objectives, whatever they may be, then by our own definitions we have achieved success. It is when we use others definition of success to attempt to achieve levels that are not even possible in our own lives that trouble begins to happen.
Success should be determined internally, personally and within the confines of our own lives. Drive is innate within us. Some have more than others and it is because of that drive that some achieve more than others. That doesn’t make one right or wrong. It just means that the level of success for one individual can vary greatly from one person to the next.
Take a look within. Are you driving yourself to be the best you can be by your own standards? Or, are you driving yourself to a level of success that is determined by others and potentially unachievable. We often unnecessarily set ourselves up for failure by putting undue pressure on ourselves to achieve levels of success that are not possible. At the end of the day, if you can lay your head on your pillow at night and say “I did my best”, even though you may not have accomplished all you would have liked, that is true contentment and an admirable drive to success.
Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.