How Do You Measure A Person’s Success?
How does one measure a person’s success?
I have known many wealthy individuals who have worked themselves almost to death and for what? A bigger house. A nicer car, designer clothes, more vacations and hair by Fredric Fekkai….why are all these things so important? Do they really measure a person’s worth? Do they calculate their success or value as a human being?
I knew a woman once that would give you the shirt off of her back…knowing it was her last shirt and never bring it up in a conversation again. She had ruined her credit, had no vehicle or home and was virtually broke. I also know a man who has earned a lot of money, helped his family members when he could, but was quick to use it against them in the future. Yes, this man worked long, hard hours. He was rarely home and saw little of his children. He had everything he ever wanted, but there was always something lacking…. something more…something better to buy…something more expensive or trendier to obtain. So he kept working way beyond what should have been his retirement age.
Now, this woman died penniless, but with all of her friends and family surrounding her.
This man is still alive. He has a strained relationship with one of his children. He lives under constant stress and is still striving to obtain “the American Dream.” Most people would agree that he has already achieved it, but not in his mind. He has to have more…has to keep up with the lifestyle he has made for he and his wife. I don’t discount for one second all the hard work he has done to have this level of success…but is it really success?
I have shitty credit. It’s my own fault. I made huge mistakes and now I am paying for them. I don’t own a home right now. I rent a really great two bedroom, two bathroom apartment. This is where I am right now in my life and I am taking steps to change my life. Not only monetarily, but spiritually as well. I am truly happy with my life right now. It has improved greatly from over a year ago and my husband and I are doing more to insure that our family will always be comfortable.
Now….am I successful? In one respect, no, as my credit is shot and some months are harder than others with the bills. On the other hand, yes. I am in a much better place than last year. I am healthier, my kids are happy and my husband is much more relaxed. We have improved our lives 100% in the last year, but we are by no means wealthy. Does this mean I am not successful? Do I have to be Donald Trump to be a success? Is the measure of ones success based solely on their economic status?
Is it so horrible to die broke? I really don’t plan on that happening, but if I do, does it mean I died with nothing to show for it? My children are always well cared for. They have everything they want and need and more. We do things as a family all the time. No…we don’t go on elaborate vacations to exotic destinations, but we go to Disney-world or Universal Studios for the day every few months. We go to the park and the beach. I spend almost every day at the pool with my kids and their friends. My oldest has sleep-overs constantly and my house has become the Kool-Aid House. I write every day, which is what I love doing. I have friends that I talk to every day. But most importantly, my husband loves me and I love him. We have had some of the hardest times one can imagine, but we got through them. We have both made mistakes, but we worked them out. We will be married 11 years on August 31st. He is the only man in my entire life that has never disappointed me.
Some would define our life as average….some below average.
Why is it so important to be wealthy and powerful to be considered successful? Does it not count to have a loving family and friends living a less than middle class life? The middle class has been totally screwed lately, but they continue to pick themselves up, brush off and start over.
I was middle class once. I screwed it all up. I am below middle class right now. I don’t plan to live paycheck to paycheck for the rest of my life….who does? But life happens and people screw up. What else are we supposed to do? I could drop into a deep depression, make my kids miserable, ruin my marriage and really make my life a royal fuck up. But I am choosing to pick myself up, brush off and start all over again….with the help of my husband. We did it before…we will do it again.
I would say that sounds pretty successful.