This blog post has a different angle the rest. Usually I’m writing about go-getter strategies like chasing your dreams over comfort, beating procrastination, and studying hacks to ace your exams. Those are all quality topics that I will continue to write about another day, but not today.
Today I’m going to show how beneficial it is to reflect on our lives to see how much we have already accomplished. I believe realizing how much we have already accomplished will encourage us to greater future success and satisfaction.
To Be Successful
There are many misconceptions about success. For example, people think if a college student is:
To be successful, they must have a near perfect GPA.
To be successful, they must have the next four years of their life planned out.
To be successful, they must have offers from all the best companies or grad schools.
And when you get older, adults believe that to be successful, you have to make a perfect family, be a millionaire, and never make mistakes.
While all of these descriptions can be signs of a successful person, they are nowhere near the requirements. Because just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, the same concept applies to success.
You and I can analyze one individual with the same information and disagree on if they’re successful or not. Success is not black and white.
This is because success is dependent on circumstance, perspective, and goals. You can’t decide if someone is successful based on their present situation. You would need to know where they came from, everything they are today, and then what they’re going to be in the future.
Even then, success is a still a subjective term that is up for debate.
Being More Than Your Failures
For example, if you knew Thomas Edison in the early stages of his life, you would say he is the opposite of success. He couldn’t speak until age three and his parents thought something was wrong with him.
Then, a couple of years later his teacher kicked Edison out of school with the reasoning that Edison was “too stupid to learn anything,” and slowing down the other students.
Being forced to drop out of school, he worked odd jobs as a kid and teenager.
When trying to invent the lightbulb, he failed thousands of times. Only after these failures, did Thomas Edison break through to revolutionize the world as we know it by inventing the lightbulb.
The takeaway is that even the brightest people fail all the time and make mistakes. So, stop being so hard on yourself. Sure it’s good to be honest and real, but don’t beat yourself up because that will only lead to more negatives.
And you also shouldn’t beat yourself up, because I bet you’re more successful than you think.
Strayer University and APlus (Ashton Kutcher’s social good platform) released a video that served as a social experiment to highlight how critical we are of ourselves and how we give too much weight to our failures.
In the video (which received over 1M views in less than 24 hours), people were asked to rate their own personal “success” on a scale of one to ten. Then, the plot changed as these people’s loved ones came in to rate them on the same scale.
There were many inspiring and feel-good moments that happened next.
Watch the video below to get inspired and recognize that you’re more successful in life than you realize.