What is your definition of success?
This is a question that I constantly think about, and its answers are always evolving due to work, eustress
, experience, and experimentation.
Does money equal success?
Is witnessing, observing, and consuming the intimacy of travel success?
Is it simply having a job?
Having a family?
The amount of loving people in one’s life?
Is it the abundance of material?
Is it having material at its minimum?
Is it how you look or how you’re perceived by others? External validation?
Is it being healthy and strong?
Is it buying a house? Building a house?
Is it providing a service?
Is it the understanding, the comprehension of reality?
Is it to be fluid, adaptive?
Is it recognizing one’s mental and physical capacity?
Is it optimizing our communication, community?
Is it “likes” or followers?
Is it obtaining food, water, shelter?
I can go for hours asking these type of questions to myself, and many overlap and contradict one another. Another question that subsequently follows, and the one that allows me to focus is: What motivates me and what’s my capacity for creation? Once I have a tentative understanding regarding this question, then I ask myself, why the motivation? Why have I created meaning for this motivated behavior? Is it coming from an internal viewpoint or an external one? Was the motivation created by genetics or environment? Or both? Which is more powerful, nature or nurture? Why do anything?
Whatever the reason I’ve discovered that helping a situation, no matter the magnitude, is success for me and provides happiness. So a very simple, and maybe an oversimplified question is - How can I help? The behavior that follows is engagement with the surrounding environment (neighborhood), and most importantly the intended behavior is a positive one, outside the outcome. The thought is still tentative, but engaging in any activity at a basic level (“hands in the dirt”), without concerning oneself too much of the expected result, has created meaning and different degrees of success and happiness.