Everyone has their own opinion of what success is. It’s a fluid sort of thing that changes as life goes on. Everyone wants to tell you how to get there, but every path is different. The way to get where you’re going really depends on where you want to be.
Think about the difference between the guy who spoke at college graduation and Eminem. They both are successful in the eyes of those who watch them. They might even be successful in their own eyes, and what more than that could a human possibly want?
I read an article today about how people of my generation (they’re calling us millennials) are avoiding the small towns they grew up in and starting a small rebellion against success as imagined by their parents. This guy had the quote that pretty much sums up the article:
“(Millennials) continue a multigenerational pattern of young adults preferring more expensive urban areas over lower-cost rural ones because the lifestyles and opportunities in such places make the extra burden of cost worth it”
Basically, millennial want the excitement of a city life for all of it’s ups and all of it’s struggle too.
Why wouldn’t we? We have essentially lived our whole lives in ease and comfort and we want the success we see in shows like Friends and How I Met Your Mother. The only way we know how to get those TV drama- style ups and downs, is to move away from the comfortable and into the ferocious big city. Ask any entrepreneur, there’s just simply more happening in places with more people. Ask any twenty something, we have been taught that taking some risks with our lives will make us more successful.
But what are we really doing? Are we really working hard on those risks or are we just spending too much money to get drunk in a glamour that we’ve created in our minds alone?
Even though I have an answer in mind, maybe those are questions I’ll only be able to answer in hindsight. I know that living while working or playing in New Orleans gives me the feeling of victory I’m looking for. Sometimes making ends meet is a struggle, but I ride my bike through a postcard on my way to work and listen to live jazz outside the door. The perfection of all of it makes the struggle worth it. It guess the good part make the struggle worthwhile. The struggle is there to make the good parts feel great.
I don’t know for sure if I’m even headed towards success. All I know is my soul feels alive. I’m creating things I want to show people. I’m working a job I love where I get to see spectacular things and meet wonderful people. I’m not hungry or cold and I have friends here who care deeply for me.
There are still plenty of things that I want, and I’m working to get them, but I know that list is subject to change. Success itself is subject to change.