Defining success is like asking someone to describe an imaginary world called DreamtasiaLand.
Each person you ask is going to have their own description of what it looks like. In one person's version, DreamtasiaLand may have rainbow waterfalls. In another's, there may be chocolate waterfalls. Person A's dream world may have wild animals running around, while Person B's may be completely void of other life forms.
Success may be more tangible than DreamtasiaLand, but one person's definition of it is not the same as another's. In fact, my own definition of it has changed over the years.
If you had asked me a year ago what my definition of success was, I probably would've said owning a modern industrial smart home in Hollywood Hills, with an infinity pool overlooking the DTLA skyline. I would've said that success meant growing Kono's Kitchen to a $100 million dollar company in a year and seeing people across the country use Kono's treats to train their dogs. Success would've meant traveling internationally whenever I wanted and eating amazing food at the best restaurants.
Merriam-Webster defines success as "the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame." I'd argue that when the majority of society looks at someone, this is the definition of success they're usually measured against.
This past year, I took a look at my life and redefined success for myself. This is what it looks like now.
- Being able to spend my day however I'd like
- Having full control of my time & schedule
- Financial freedom to travel and work from wherever I want
- Being able to make a living & give back to the community
- Helping someone deepen their connection with their dog
- Being able to sit with & be proud of my accomplishments
- Owning at least 2 tiny home vacation homes
When you are bound to external measures of success, there's so much pressure that comes with constantly striving to meet those standards. But once you realize that YOU are in control of your happiness and of what it means, there's an incredible sense of peace that comes along with it.
That's not to say that your definition of success can't mean driving your dream car or having a huge home powered by smart technology (maybe I'll revisit this in the future). It absolutely could! If you want to be filthy fucking rich, then you do you, boo.
The point is that that's not the only definition of success. And I'm living proof that even your own definition can change over time. Check in with yourself from time to time. If you're someone like me who needs more structure, schedule a quarterly or half-yearly check-in with yourself to reflect on whether or not your definition of success still holds true to who you are and what you want in life.
This past July, I quit my 6-figure job to run my small business full time. So I'm now able to spend my day however I'd like. I now have full control of my time and schedule. I'm working towards more financial freedom, but ultimately, I'm so much happier now. And fuck...if that's not success, I don't know what is.
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