To my dearest readers,
My definition of success has changed significantly over the years, I suppose with age and mostly experience. Each of us has our own story, but at some stage we are forced to face reality, to grow up and decide who we are. Take a moment and ask yourself if you are successful…and then continue reading!
When I was younger I had specific criteria that I used to define the word success, it was shaped by being over critical of myself and it was certainly influenced by societal norms and expectations. In school, we were taught to be the best that we could be. The emphasis was mostly on academics, sports and culture. If we failed in one of those categories we were considered an outsider. My definition of success led me to believe that academics were the most pertinent category, or at least to me, because that was what I was best at. From a young age, we are pressured to be the best and if we performed well in all the above categories, or significantly well in one of them, we were considered extraordinary. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t noticed that many Bill Gates’, Federer’s or Shakespeare’s around us… Their lives are not more significant than ours.
My plan was straight forward in high school, I simply wanted to do the following; get a degree at university, become an independent business woman, get married, have children and grow happily old with my soulmate. However, life didn’t turn out that way for me. I hardly managed to get through my senior year in high school. It was invisible to many, but the most important people in my life, my doctor and my faith helped me to overcome every hurdle that got in my way.
After I completed school, I attended university, however my life was once again dictated by my debilitating illness. I decided to start studying something completely different, psychology, through correspondence. I must give credit to both universities (UP & UNISA) for accommodating me immensely. I am near the end of my BA Psychology degree, however ten years after my high school graduation (not exactly what I had in mind), because I persevered and maintained a positive mind set, I never ever backed down! When I wanted to my husband, family, friends, my Yorkie child and my faith pulled me right back up! However, it is essential to understand that when your body can no longer carry on, your brain feels infinitely useless. My body felt like an obstacle to me. Sometimes pressing ‘pause’ is necessary to go on.
My life turned out to be the opposite of what I had planned, yet today I am grateful! Don’t get me wrong, life was difficult and terrible at times, but if it wasn’t for my poor health, I would never have found my love for psychology and passion to help others. I would not have had the empathy, compassion and self-growth that I do now.
Success is not what you plan or what is expected of you, it is becoming the best version of yourself. You don’t need a degree, an important job, wealth, physical attractiveness, a charming personality or be great at everything to be successful. If you have reached your full potential, you have made a significant and a profound success of your life! You can be proud to be YOU, because there is no other person on earth that can substitute you or serve the purpose that you do. We are all equally important! Life has taught me that having a beautiful soul is what ultimately defines the word SUCCESS!
I hope that after reading this post you understand that you are fantastic, irreplaceable and essential to creating a better world than yesterday. You are needed in this world for a reason, explore it and embrace it!