Success does not require formal training.
Success does not equate to following the rules.
Success is not measured by recognition.
But this does not mean success is easy to achieve.
The problem with success is that we let others define what it means.
We grow up constantly being compared to our classmates, our friends, and our family.
We watch as those who exhibit the most skill within the confines of any “test” are recognized.
We learn to aspire to the spotlight and to fear leaving without a legacy.
We are taught to blend in when the only sensible route for differentiation is to stand out.
We are rewarded for playing it safe only to learn later in life that those “rules” don’t matter.
This leaves us feeling betrayed by a system into which we put so much energy and trust.
But education is designed to teach us how to succeed in educational systems—it is self-serving.
And to let it (or anyone else) define what “success” means is silly.
This does not mean to disregard ideas from your trusted teachers, friends, and family.
This does not mean to do whatever you want, whenever you want.
This does not mean to blindly follow your own path.
After all, success absolutely requires you to work hard—as hard as you possibly can.
Because achieving success is very difficult.
And the odds are not in your favor…But not for the reasons you might think…
You see, the reason success is scarce is because we get hung up on everything above.
We spend a lifetime of blood, sweat, and tears chasing after something that will not fulfill us.
Clawing for recognition at all costs, and silently pained when it comes to others over us.
Because we are rarely taught the truth:
Success in a career is simply earning a living doing something you love.
Remember that: what YOU love, not what someone else defines as “successful.”
And while we’re at it, let’s discard the myth that more money or fame equals more success.
Doing the thing is hard enough, and it is worth celebrating when you get there.
Any recognition that comes along with it is simply a bonus, but it is not required or guaranteed.
And if you do happen to earn that living doing what you love, don’t stop there…
For success is not a static entity—you must constantly improve and differentiate yourself.
And you must reevaluate if the living you are earning is sufficient both for today and for tomorrow.
Take faith in yourself and the race you are running.
And don’t trouble your mind comparing yourself to others—instead learn from them along the way.
Appreciate their struggle and celebrate in their success as you would want them to celebrate in yours.
Let’s redefine what it means to be successful in any career, one person at a time.