Friday, August 30th 2013 Thoughts
Today I wanted to take the chance to remind you about one of my favorite words: Success. It’s one of my favorites because it is one of the only truly dynamic words. Most words have multiple meanings, but if you were to ask people you know what they defined success as, more than likely you’d get a different answer each time. To some people, getting that promotion that gives you the ability to sit in an office and tell other people what to do, is success. To others staying up until the wee hours of the night editing photos and not getting paid for it, is success. To others, graduating from an Ivy League college, having a house with a two car garage and 2.5 kids is the ideal success story. But just because that’s the ideal goal for someone, doesn’t mean it’s for you.
Nine years ago, success to me was figuring out what the hell I was doing when I downloaded WordPress for the first time, and less about passing my senior year of high school. When I left school a year early all I heard was that I would regret it, that in ten years I would need skills and abilities that I would have learned in that last year of high school (Let me tell you, I have never needed trigonometry)*. Or how my parents, being the first people to graduate high school on either sides of their families (and out of six siblings each), never thought that their kids would be the ones to be dropouts. For me though, success was never measured by my name on a fancy piece of paper. Seven years after leaving high school I started my own business, a business that I had been working towards before I even knew people did this for a living. Now, nine years after I left school, I finally feel confident calling myself a business owner. People ask me what I do for a living and I tell them that I own my own business, that I design and build websites for a living. I have never been and will never be defined by the fact that I didn’t graduate high school, because I choose not to be. Just like I choose not to be defined by my mistakes, I’m human, you’re human, we all make them. I don’t let those things define me because I’ve done things that I consider to be greater than that. Greater than that piece of paper, greater than those mistakes. My version of success is the only version of success that I need to concern myself with.
The same goes for you. We all have different ideas of success, so don’t let anyone tell you your goals aren’t good enough. That they don’t mean enough, or that they’re not worth enough. If they make you happy, if they fulfill the word of success in your mind and heart, then there is nothing else that you need to search for. Don’t be scared, and don’t listen to the naysayers – worst case scenario, you’ll fail. And you know what you’re going to do if that happens? Get yourself back up again, brush yourself off, and try harder next time. There is no other approval that should matter more than your own.
And that key that they speak of, the key to success? It’s you.
* Despite the fact that I dropped out of high school, I highly highly recommend staying in school. Education is extremely important, and those years of school are free so please take advantage of them. If you’re considering leaving school then please talk to your guidance counseler and your parents. When I left school it was a decision that I had thought a lot about and had extensively discussed with my parents before deciding that I could spend my time better doing other things.