When do You Begin Towards Success?

When do you begin towards success? How do you measure success? It occurs to me that I am doing much better than my parents were financially when they were the same age as I am now. Yet, success seems to elude me. I am interested in this so much that I decided to write about it today. My observations are as follows in the same order.

1. At what point in my life did I realize that I must work towards success?

2. What do I consider successful for myself?

3. Where am I now and where do I want to end up?

4. Am I behind or ahead or stuck in the middle?

5. Can I even recognize the model I must follow to achieve success?

6. If I become successful eventually, will I be able to recognize it or will I be so used to working towards success, that I will pass it before I even realize it?

These are very intimate questions that I cannot seem to answer. We all have goals, but what is the culminating event that must pass, for us to acknowledge our success is closer than we realize? I ponder, is success an exercise in insanity or the necessary gates I must pass through, to be successful? Too often, the model is laid out in the form of education or financial freedom or other possible landmarks. What serves as the touchstone to launch a person to attempt success?

Another aspect of success in my mind is, once I become successful, will I stop, will I be satisfied? I honestly don’t know the answers to this question. Is my life measured in inches or yards or miles? There are times when I feel as if I am simply engaging the 50 meter target and saying to myself “I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it” referring to everything that is not in front of me currently.

I do not attempt to waste energy on things that are outside of my control, yet there are times when they invade my purview.

I ask you the reader:

1. What do you use your energy for?

2. Are you setting out every day working towards your goal?

3. When did you begin working towards your goals?

It then occurs to me that, perhaps I started too late in life. If I had only decided earlier and younger, I could’ve been past this already, at least closer than what I am. Then again, perhaps my journey thus far has helped me to open my own eyes and mind as to what I should be doing. I am my own boss, sometimes a good boss and sometimes a horrible boss, speaking honestly.

My entire life up to this point seemed to echo that I just wanted to fit in, appear mediocre, when I thought I was standing out. Then again, 5 – 10 years from today, what will I be working towards then?

Does this sound insane?


18 thoughts on “When do You Begin Towards Success?

  1. This is such a thought-provoking post. Very existential.
    I have to admit that those questions are not something I like to think of, because they make me depressed. Not because I think I have not achieved much, but because I think I could have done so much more.
    Like you, I could have started much earlier.
    Sometimes I stop and twirl around, comparing myself to others. Just briefly. Generally. And I see myself in the middle. Some people are doing better, some are doing worse. But exactly what defines “better”, or “worse”? My own perception. Those other people that I think are “worse” than me might think they are doing better than me. Who am I to judge that?
    Admittedly, I still feel lost a lot of the time. Like I could use more direction. Like I’m drifting. But you know what? Ultimately, I AM happy with where I’m at. And worrying about where I would like to be, but might not get there is not something I like to worry my pretty little head with. Ultimately, happiness is my goal. It’s very cliche, but it’s true.
    Yes, I think I’ve been destined for a greater good, but…

    1. bottomlesscoffee007

      Thanks Goldie. I wasn’t trying to make anyone feel depressed, sorry for that side effect. I wonder is the journey the success or the end state? While others may look at me as successful or as a failure, I think can be very detrimental. Since it is my observation/opinion that even though I would like to succeed by my own standards, I think I am more worried about fitting in.

      This may be true for some and not true for others. I want to be wanted, I want to be liked, yet I want to remain different at the same time.

      Who knows what could’ve been done different in my past that could’ve propelled me to even greater heights today. Then again, what else would be different about me? I’ve come to accept and enjoy and love rather than regret.

      My biggest fear is what am I doing for my children and their future. I want to be with my kids all the time, but I must provide for them at the same time.

      Will my children be successful? Will I be able to mentor them? This is what I ponder the most. I work to provide for them, I work to hopefully make their lives easier and more attainable in their future. Then again, if they don’t have to work for it, will they appreciate it as much as I do? Will they ultimately be better or worse for what I had worked so hard to give them?

      My success is my children and what I hope to give them, whether material, professional or appreciation.

      1. You ask insanely sane questions ! I would say the mere fact that you ask yourself these questions shows that you have begun finding the answers, though you might not accept them as right for you.
        For me, there is having success in life and having a successful life, the first being a life that is successful according to societal standards, and the other one being success as I define it for myself. I choose to live by the second one, for I want to be able to say on the last day of my life that I have no regret and that I’m proud of who I am, what I have done, not done, how I’m reminded. This is the topic of next week’s post on the Seven habits 😉
        Of course, that is not measurable or comparable with someone else, it’s absolutely personal, which is a great finding, since I now have Something to design on my own.
        The series of questions you asked in the first part of your post are all important, and the answer to the last one “If I become successful eventually, will I be able to recognize it or will I be so used to working towards success, that I will pass it before I even realize it?” needs the first ones to be answered. I was once told “if you Don’t know what you are looking for, you may not notice it when you find it”. 1- define what success is for you, 2- find ways to achieve it, 3- set benchmarks to see it when it comes 🙂

        1. bottomlesscoffee007

          Wow, you are very intune with yourself. I guess for me, I may still be searching and evaluating. Then again, I am satisfied to an extent.

          I will say this, the biggest aspect that stands out to me is the more I look the harder I work and the more possibilities I see. Perhaps still having the hunger and desire to achieve is the most successful part.

          1. Hunger and desire are also essential. I’m Always very happy when I meet people who ask questions, it means you are not settling for mediocrity 😉 just Don’t beat yourself up.
            And, the Journey is never over, I’m Always searching, I’m changing, Learning Everyday, every new stage of my life needs adjustments, what works today might not work tomorrow, maybe that’s where I find happiness, in the movement towards (outwards, inwards).

            1. bottomlesscoffee007

              Hmmm, you are a very worthy opponent! LOL.

              It becomes apparent to me that we seem to be dancing around similar outcomes. I think for myself, the hardest aspect to grasp at this point in my life is what’s next. I have just begun my second career and to a certain extent, I still find it challenging to adapt to my new life.

              When I asked the original question of when do I begin or when will I realize it. After my first lifetime of achievement, I find it hard to realize what my next measurement of success is.

              Whether physical, mental or financial? Is this an exercise in insanity a circle jerk? Just pushing my ball up the eternal hill that never ends until it ends? Does one’s success mean that others must be ignored? I am but a simple man. I cannot be a successful husband and father and be successful in life at the same time. If I am successful in one aspect, the other is destined to fail. What is worth more? To me, my family. They are my success or failure. It is for this reason, success seems to be the future, I hope I will witness the fruits of my labor, through their happiness and life. Until then, I just continue to work towards them.

              1. Yes, family is the only thing that will be there after everything else is gone. I discussed this topic once with my dad, he did great things in his youth, humanitarian nurse in Bangladesh and India, he fought in the ANC movement in South Africa. He found his life very exciting and worth living. Now at 65, he doesn’t do all of those things and he feels miserable, he is no longer into doing. When talking about success and ambition, I asked him, “isn’t dangerous to base one’s happiness on our doings?” I’m asking the same here. How can I be, so that when I can’t do anymore I still feel whole ? That’s my search in life. In the being.

      2. “I’ve come to accept and enjoy and love rather than regret.” Same.

        What a wonderful sentiment you express in regards to your children. From experience, I have to tell you that you cannot predict everything. You do what you think is best at the given moment. You don’t know what will be in 10, or 20 years.

  2. Very thought-provoking questions! I confess to have thought about similar questions before. There is nothing insane with those questions – they are all perfectly reasonable.

  3. 1. My energy? For myself. If I do not care for myself everyday, first, I will be useless to myself & those around me.

    2. Goals? Restful sleep, clean food & water, experience, kindness for myself & others, survival until it is time to leave.

    3. When did I start? I worked towards the ‘goals’ I was ‘taught’ to work for via familial & governmental programming…college degree, the best paying job, the best car, the best house, the best mate, the best clothes, the best jewelry, followed & emulated the perfect actor/actress and/or musician, borrowed & borrowed & borrowed, took the drugs I was told to take, ate was I was told to eat, drank what I was told to drink, prayed & worshipped the god I was told to… I lived “the dream”.

    Then, I woke TF up.

    “Success” is a relative term. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. How does one measure such a subjective “term”? Things & money can’t produce love or integrity or peace… And, when you pass away, “ya can’t take it witcha”.

    My boomer parents (actually, technically, my dad is the last of the ‘silent generation’) are definitely “better off” than I am if viewing them through a monetary lens.

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