I heard someone describe a person to me as successful a few days ago. I boggled. Successful at what?
‘Successful’ requires context. To be successful, one has to have accomplished things, and those things define the context of success.
Consider the ‘successful artist’. Are they successful at creating art, or are they successful at creating art?
Consider Steve Jobs, often touted as successful, who didn’t do any of the tech but was considered a tech giant (Wozniak was the tech giant, Jobs was the sales giant).
Am I successful? Well, I have accomplished writing this much about success, so in that regard I’m successful.
Pretty useless. There’s an entire aspect of the publishing industry that dictates to people how to be successful, where the author’s success is gauged by how many books they have sold as opposed to how useful their writing is.
Success is about accomplishment. If you accomplished anything, you’re successful.
Did you brush your teeth? Add it to your resume: “Successfully accomplished cleaning of 32 teeth, comprising 4 types.” Of course, HR will want a certification to prove this.
Success is a fickle word, abused, beaten, and of little worth because anyone that can successfully spell it uses it to describe what they have accomplished in the past, which we think is a predictor of the future… but often isn’t.
Don’t waste your time worrying about success. Go accomplish things and continuing to accomplish things.
Don’t be successful. Be accomplished.
And by all means, brush your teeth.