What is success?

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Wealth, honors, awards, a college degree, marriage, kids — that is success as defined by the people from my childhood. I understand that some families joke when they tell a girl in the family that she needs to gain a college degree and find a rich husband to marry, but so many of mine were serious about that. That’s not realistic, and money does not buy happiness. That’s not really what I define as success.

To me, success is keeping the same domain name for three years. I’m officially committed to this domain name until 2015. 6birds.net is thus far the oldest domain name I have ever had.

Success is sending a message to my aunt Charan on Facebook for help because Mimi was moving out of Wills Point and had gone back on understanding that I had quit my job to relax and focus on getting better [away from people].

Success is working my ass off senior year by taking about 20 classes[1. 15 per year is normal; Trinity uses 5 classes per trimester. Senior year I took four courses, the fifth being Office Aid, which was when I worked on the 6 courses for about six to seven weeks, then turned into an Early Release (but I still received credit because the schedule wasn’t changed).] just so I can graduate on time[2. Because homeschool really fucked me up credits-wise.].

Success is admitting to myself that I have MDD and PTSD rather than merely denying it and wishing it would disappear.

Success is teaching myself HTML and CSS.

Success is reading a book.

Success is failing the quiz version of the Driver’s License test twice and passing it on the third time.

Success is passing the driving version of the Driver’s License test on the first try with a 70.

Success is becoming better and better at coding and design, no matter how slowly that process is.

Success isn’t necessarily some complex thing; it can be as simple as eating an apple a day or waking up before noon.

What is success to you?

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Comments on this post

Thank you for posting this! 😀 Keep doing what you are doing, and you will have many successes.

I am successful by the usual definition of success: college degree, soon-to-be graduate degree, steady boyfriend, enough money, blah blah blah. Parents of kids who are “less successful” have actually brown-nosed me before. (Can you believe that! What imbeciles!) I always want to tell them, “I do what I do because I love it and don’t give a shit about the attention. Now, get the fuck away from me!” but that’d get me in trouble. People are actually almost serious, even when they’re joking, when they talk about the usual definitions of success. It’s disgusting – I have only found success by having my own definition of success that works for me, but doesn’t quite perfectly align with the usual definition.

I think success for you, as I’ve read this, is completing things you’ve wanted & doing things that make you happy. Success to you is your personal happiness. I’m happy that you’re not denying your issues, but accepting them. You can’t really get better if you don’t accept your faults.

Success to me is also happiness. Happiness in my family, friends, career, & most importantly, myself. For we all know that we cannot truly be happy with our lives unless we are first happy with ourselves. We can’t truly be happy for someone else either if we cannot be happy with ourselves. Can’t fully love someone else without loving yourself first! 🙂

I like your list 🙂 I agree though. I think success is different for each person, and I don’t like that a lot of people equate success with wealth. It also bothers me when parents pressure their kids under their definition of success instead of seeing what their kids actually want. Success to me is finding stability and happiness. It’s also when I finally finish a project I’ve been working on forever 😉

Back then, my definition of success was getting into medical school and becoming a doctor, but that was my mindset ages ago. I am glad that my definition of success has changed over time and I think it shows that I’ve matured since then. Now, to me success is not about reaching a particular goal, but it’s more on developing as a person. Success comes in many different packages and people define success differently whether it’s through the amount of wealth or even the amount of accomplishments. The way I see it, success is not giving up on life when the going gets tough. (I know, it’s so cliched and cheesy sounding!) As someone that has wanted to give up on life completely, the fact that I’m still here happy and actually healthy is what I can call being “successful.”

I think for some people marriage and completing their education may be success, but I think you’re right to point out the little things that make up the big successes. I think sometimes we are so honed in on the huge milestones that we forget about things like passing our driving test or achieving high honors (that probably got someone into their college they wanted!). I like that you focused on smaller things that help to contribute to the person you are today. Reflecting on how we have become who we are is determined by all of the successes we have regardless of size.

Totally agree that success is how we define it for ourselves. Kudos to you for all your successes and here’s wishing you many more! Popped over from the TDOY website!

Liza, I’m so proud of you. You’ve gone though a crap-ton of stuff in your life that most of us can’t even imagine, and you can still keep your head up high and say, “Look how far I’ve come. I am successful.” And you are successful. <3

Success is being happy and confident about unpopular decisions you make.
Equally, success is self-control. It’s going into a shoe shop having a sale, and coming out without a purchase, not because there was nothing to buy, but because you’ve convinced yourself you don’t need a new pair.

Have a lovely weekend ahead.

MsMadge 🙂


I loved this. I was different than you about the driver’s test. I passed the written part with no problem, but failed the driving part. Oh, I did everything correct. I stopped where I was supposed to, aced the parallel parking and when we got back, was shocked the officer said I’d failed. Turns out I drove on the wrong side of the road the whole time. Mind you, this fortunately was when the driving tests were given in a separate place from the real roads. I think I just might have figured out I was on the wrong side of the road if the test had been on real roads:~) At least I hope so. Anyway, I did eventually pass.

But kudos for you for all your successes:~)