Success is Whatever You Want it to Be

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We’ve all learned that a successful person is a millionaire who lives in a mansion, owns three cars, and runs their own company. 

Since that’s what we’ve learned, everybody strives for it—even if they’re unhappy in their journey to reach that goal, or deep down, they know they give zero fucks about owning three cars.

But that’s what all aspects of wealth resemble, so we decide that’s what we’ll mirror. 

For me, success looks like this

I live in an expensive apartment with a gorgeous view in New York. has reached 100,000 subscribers, and I’m slowly but surely making my way toward becoming a millionaire. I run a company like Scarlet from The Bold Type, and I’ve also published a few New York Times Bestsellers. 

I do what I love every day. I’m surrounded by people who love and support me, and vice versa. I help and inspire young women to love themselves, build confidence, and live a life they’re passionate about.


I have no problem saying I have high expectations of success for myself.

My measure of success is up here (you can’t see me, but my hand is by the top of my head). It’s why I work hard and make the sacrifices I make even though it’s freaking hard sometimes.

Success looks however you want it to

That’s what I want for me, but you might want something entirely different.

The highest level of success is not the only success. You might not want to be the best. You might wish for enough success.

Perhaps you’re okay with two thousand followers or subscribers as long as you’re making the money you want and having a significant impact on those lives. 

Maybe you don’t care about connecting with influencers, becoming a millionaire, or having a thousand likes on a picture. 

You’re okay with living in an “average” home. Or you might want something in between. Or a mix of everything.

Whatever the hell it is you want, you can have it. Whatever you want is okay.

You define your measures of success. Not me, not society, not your parents—you. You’re the one who gets to pick what makes you happy.

If you’re satisfied with being great but not wanting the attention for it, that’s cool! If you’re content with being good enough because you do what you do for fun, that’s awesome, too. 

If you decide that you only want to follow your passion as a hobby and keep your corporate job, then fuck it. 

You make the rules.

Whatever success looks like for you, work for it

Promise yourself that no matter what measure of success you want, you’ll work for it. I don’t care how you work toward it, just that you do.

If you’ve thought about what you want your life to look like one, three, five, or ten years from now, figure out how you’re going to get there. 

What steps are you going to take? What do you have to do? What do you have to stop doing? What skills do you need to pick up along the way?

The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.

Vince Lombardi

My goals right now are simple and straightforward. I need to make money, so I’m trying to go all in on Medium. 

I want to reach 500 subscribers for this blog in the next year. Finally, I want to get to the point where I’m writing (and eventually publishing) one short story every single week. 

All of these goals will help me take one step closer to the bigger goals.

Don’t wait for “success” to be happy

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

I want to say one final thing that people who pursue their goals forget to think about—the present moment. I’m glad you have goals you want to aim for, and that you’ve defined your measures of success, but don’t tie your happiness to success.

“What we are waiting for is not as important as what happens to us while we are waiting. Trust the process.”

Mandy Hale

Loads of people wait to be and have something to finally be happy. But be satisfied now. 

Love the journey and the process. Love the work and the stress and boring and hustle. 

Be present, and enjoy every moment you have because if you wait until you have what you want, you’ll never be happy, especially because once you get that thing, you only desire more.

So, work hard for your goals, but be present, and be happy with where you are now.

. . .

Let's talk about

Let me know in the comments:

What are your measures of success? Begin your sentence with I amI live, I have, or I do, and keep on going. 

Write a couple of sentences including some of your goals!

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