Why we need to change our definition of succes.

Jan 5, 2018


As you may already know, I'm one of those people who is constantly torn between wanting to live a simple, lazy life and the wish to become super succesful. At something. Anything really (because even at the age of 28 I never quite managed to figure out what I really like to do).

Where this weird semi-obsession with succes came from, I honestly do not know, but on the other hand I think it's quite clear that I'm not the only one who has it. People who have 'made it' are adored by society. A career that is not only interesting and challenging, but also blosssoming, is such an important part of life nowadays. It's what you use to impress your grandparents and what you brag about on Instagram. Heck, #girlboss is the most en vogue title of our age! Succes may even be the modern Holy Grail.

What concerns me here, is that we look at succes as an end destination. First you hustle, then you reach the the top. But that point of view leaves hardly any room for failure.
Because, let's admit it, if you hustle and don't make it to the top, you're a loser! Or, maybe you just didn't try hard enough. And what about changing tracks along the way. You may start along one career path or choose for certain studies and then decide that it's actually not for you.

Another question is, what happens when we get 'there'? Once you are considered succesful, you often feel yourself pushed to continue along the same lines, because why change a winning recipe? While actually, you might feel like trying something completely new.

One of my absolute blogging idols Garance Doré, wrote a post about this a couple of months ago. And this one paragraph really struck a chord:
"And as I’ve said before, we need to demystify the notion of success. Nothing bugs me more than the model of success presented to women these days. Under the guise of pushing us to feel fulfilled, it tells us we have to be completely photogenic (from head to toe, in addition to having a perfect house and perfect vacation, and with social media, nothing really belongs to us anymore), we have to be a doting mother, a paragon of health, and of course, have an absolutely thrilling career. All the while being politically correct, a feminist, and a philanthropist."

This got me thinking, when succes is hovering over our heads like some sort of sword of Damocles, it's not really helping us either way.

Maybe succes, much like life itself, should be more about the road than the end destination. We should look at succes as a fluid, ever-changing thing that is all about finding what feels good for ourselves. I read this quote a few weeks ago, that even urges us to let go of the whole notion of succes and look for satisfaction in life instead: "A satisfied life is better than a succesfull life, because succes is measured by others and satisfaction is measured by our own soul, mind and heart."

Either way, life should be about pursuing what makes you happy, not what you think other people will think to be impressive. And if you think about it, no one really knows what we are supposed to do here on this silly earth anyways, so we might as well make it our own party, and listen to our gut for guidance.

So let that be my 2018 resolution. What's yours?

Picture by Isis Sturtewagen