Success, as only you know it

Hi, everyone. Have you ever wondered if you're on the right track? If you've chosen the right career? If the time you've spent trying so hard to do your job well, and to do it right, has been time well-spent – or, worse, if it has been time wasted. We all feel that way once in a while – why? I've been thinking about that lately. Another way to look at it is, whose definition of success are you using to define your success?

I came across this quote by Nelson Mandela the other day:

There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.

As a writer, I've had to learn to be very forgiving of myself, though I don't always forgive myself as I write, and that can be a problem. I keep writing, deleting, and rewriting – again, and again, and again. I don't let the ideas flow because there's this little voice inside my head telling me that the words I've just typed don't sound good enough, don't mean what they should mean, don't really matter. It's me against myself when I'm writing, and I overrule myself more often than I should. I second-guess myself more often that I have to because the definition of success I'm working under does not match the definition of success I believe in.

I believe success is pushing myself to the line I think is the limit, and to keep going, unafraid to fail. I believe success is to see my failures as opportunities to learn a lesson. Success is remembering where I started, acknowledging how far I've come, and knowing that I'm the one who decides where the end of my road should be.

That's all easier said than done, but I'm working on it. Part of this work is to write this note to you without hearing the voice inside my head, which right now is telling me to stop because no one cares.

I hope you do. No, strike that. I know you do.

This is a week full of meaning to me and many, many people. It's a time to celebrate liberation and rebirth. That's why I decided to sit and write to you.

Figure out what your definition of success is, embrace it, and liberate yourself. Write if writing is what you do. Sing even if you're not a good singer. Tell the people you love that you love them. Infuse whatever you do with meaning and passion, and tell that voice inside your head to zip it.

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