Are We Truly Succeeding? (Opinion Piece/Food For Thought)
Ciao lovelies! Today’s post is an opinion piece on what the true definition of success is. This varies among cultures, communities, and people, but can put pressure on people and make individuals doubt themselves and feel insignificant and inadequate.
In America, the general accepted concept of “success” rests within the American Dream; to be married, a couple of kids, a nice job, and a house. This is the societal norm that has existed in name since the 50’s-60’s, and in practice much longer than that. It has fluctuated over time, in times of turmoil, it included military service, in times of peace, it meant business success. Everyone wants to be the “self-made millionaire.” But this isn’t a common fate in America, especially with the failing housing market and multiple recent recessions. And success can’t be as cut and dry as material possessions and societal standards.
The American Dream success model fails to acknowledge the emotional successes. Sure it includes a spouse and kids, but this isn’t really meant as an emotional success so much as it is meant as a norm that you must follow. Plenty of people are happy without children, or with children, biological or adopted or fostered. Plenty of people are happy with or without a spouse, male or female or non-binary, any race, class, job.
Even if you achieve all the expected societal norms for success, you may find yourself emotionally empty or feeling unfulfilled. And this is where I feel that the view of success as a society should be changed.
While it may look nice to have a house and material goods, your soul and emotions aren’t being nurtured or cared for. When you base your measure of success in material wealth, you neglect your emotional success.
In my opinion, true success comes from accepting yourself and pursuing happiness! A life lived to make yourself and others happy is a successful one indeed. And maybe you’re not a doctor, or a lawyer, or a scientist. But you’re a happy person who goes out of their way to be kind, you don’t go out of your way to cause misery or be rude, that’s a good life! I don’t mean that you have to be kind to everybody (especially not if they treat you badly), but you should not go out of your way to be rude to someone who has done nothing to you. My honest opinion is that a life lived for love and happiness is a life truly lived, and a life lived for society is a life never lived at all. This is my truest belief and I keep it close to my heart.
Sure, I am flawed. I do like buying things to make me happy. But I also like making others happy. I like forming meaningful relationships. I like to see people smile. I like to be kind, it makes me feel good inside and happy, knowing that when I could’ve been cruel, I was kind instead. I feel like a better person.
But now I would like to know, how do you define success? This question can be used for discussion or personal introspection, I don’t mind either way, though I’m curious. Do you base your success in life on society’s opinions of you and your achievements? Or do you create your own standards? How do you measure your success?
Just some food for thought, my lovelies! I really like writing opinion pieces and opening up dialogue on interesting and complex subjects! I find it’s fun to write and I highly anticipate the answers that come from you all!
Thank you all so much for reading! See you tomorrow!