“What does success look like to you?”
That’s a question that is only asked by other people two times throughout your life: during job interviews and on a first date. Otherwise it’s the question you constantly ask yourself. It’s the query that sits on your heart as you toil toward a goal, or ponder what’s next in life. It’s the accomplishments you’ll be measured against throughout your career, and the potential roadblocks that stop you from being hired for the job you really want.
For me, success used to look like being a published writer. Somehow, seeing my name etched across a byline made me feel like I’d won. Made me feel like I’d reached the top of a mountain that it took forever to climb. The sweat and tears that went behind each word, pulling them together and making them make sense. That was the ultimate.
Now that I’ve been published a few times over the years, it’s on to the next thing. The next great thing. The next win. Lately I’ve been thinking about what success looks like now, and if I’m being honest I’m glad it’s me asking the question and not a potential boss or boo. I know what I’ve accomplished over the years, and somedays I also know my worth. I’ve written for magazines and been the voice of several major brands and got to cover the greatest artists on the greatest stages and have had some of the greatest wordsmiths speak my words. It’s been a great run. But that’s all in the past. That’s all been there, done that.
Nowadays, I really ask myself if I know what will look like success going forward?
I guess this is the part where I’m supposed to have the answer. The part when I tell you that I’m working toward writing for television and film, and doing everything I need to do to live comfortably with no worries. Maybe this is the section of the post where I say I never plan on working a 9-to-5 again, and that the thought of working out of an office makes my skin crawl.
I could say that, but if I’m being honest, it won’t mean anything. I could be back in an office tomorrow, or be on a clock the day after that. I could be working retail or slinging mail sometime in the near future. And if any of those things happened, I’d still think of myself as a success. Not just because of my past, but because it would mean I’m taking steps toward my next big thing. My next win. My next success.
And to me, Dawson… that would definitely be a good look.