Redefining Success

My wilderness journey has taught me to redefine success. I have learned that success is defined in a numerous ways.  The more I think about it, the more ways I can think of defining success, and most of them are unrelated to career. 

Then: Success is having a meaningful career and its financial rewards. 

Some Ways I Define Success Now:

  • Success is having a meaningful career.
  • Success is financial security.
  • Success is knowing, loving, and being faithful to God.
  • Success is fully being who I was divinely created to be.
  • Success is enjoying good relationships.
  • Success is belonging.
  • Success is helping others in need.
  • Success is making it to my son’s track meet.
  • Success is helping my daughter with her math homework.
  • Success is forgiving my husband.
  • Success is creating a warm and nurturing home.
  • Success is encouraging a discouraged friend.
  • Success is driving my kids to school on time.
  • Success is organizing a playdate for kids who need to socialize.
  • Success is not procrastinating.
  • Success is driving kids to school on time.
  • Success is making a healthy dinner.
  • Success is folding laundry.
  • Success is having laundry.
  • Success is finding my glasses or keys.
  • Success is helping my friend find a rental property.
  • Success is connecting people with each other.
  • Success is forgiveness.
  • Success is having integrity.
  • Success is saying yes to beauty and nature.
  • Success is not overworking and turning off the computer.
  • Success is having a thankful and peaceful heart.
  • Success is celebrating my success instead of criticizing what’s wrong.
  • Success is finishing this blog even though it has taken three years to write.
  • Success is multi-faceted and has infinite measures.
  • Success is transformation.
  • Success is knowing I am blessed.

The charts below show how my experiences and values are changing in relation to career, identity, and self-worth. I am moving away from the left and toward the right. It has been an arduous journey of healing, and the growing continues into other areas of my life.


If you or someone you love is on the left side of the first chart, I hope this blog gives you comfort and encouragement that there is a way out. While the left side of the second chart may not always be possible, the right side is always possible. In the next post I will share some ideas on how parents might help their children find not a perfect career, but purpose and direction in their lives.

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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