How Do You Define Success?

In my twenties and thirties, and into my forties,  I defined success in terms of career achievement and the financial security therein.   Each time a career goal did not work out, the more focused I’d become on finding the right one. The more I failed, the more determined I became that if I just had a  career, my life would be good, I’d finally be okay. Getting what I lacked became my single focus. 

This tenacity was admirable, but it blinded me to other measures, truer measures, of success.  

If asked how I defined success, I would have provided more noble answers—raising my children well, serving God and others, being the best version of myself.  But my actions, obsessions, depression betrayed reality. If I defined success by more than career and its financial benefits, why did each failure come with such loss of well-being and identity?  Why did not having a career make me feel like a piece of discarded trash?

The answer is simple. Since I defined success only in terms of career, failing at career meant I was a failure.


Questions for Discussion: 

How do you define success? Are you certain?

Author: Patricia Tina Wu

I'm a teacher educator, realtor, mom, and now also a blogger. I've worked in corporate sales and marketing and as an elementary school teacher. Settling into a career has always been difficult for me. I hope that my experiences will help career seekers, young people, and their parents navigate what is sometimes a confusing and difficult area of life. I'm not out of the desert yet, but things are finally starting to make more sense.

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