What does success look like?
Have you ever asked what success looks like for you? Moreover, have you asked this question at different times of your life? If you answered yes to either question, let’s reflect on your answers. But, if you never took the time to ask these questions, you can still follow this article and be inspired to imagine what success might look like for you now or in the future.
Do you think the meaning of success changes according to our age? I think it does. My logic comes from looking back at my teenage years, when I was at high school. At that time, success for me was to be popular. Fast forward to when I was in my early twenties, success was to finish university and get a job.
In my mid-twenties, success was to start a family, get a master’s degree and get a better job. Then came my thirties, when success was to get a doctorate and get an even better job with more research publications. It’s in your late thirties or early forties that it hits. What does success look like for me now? Better yet, let me fast forward and think about what success will look like in my fifties and sixties? Trust me, if you are not asking yourself these questions your subconscious might already be mulling them over but your conscious mind may have yet to receive the internal memo.
Like it or not, age changes you in terms of your rationale, patience, long-term vision, wisdom, and contentment. Mixing all these factors will influence your feelings of success at different stages in your life. I think you can agree with me that there is a positive correlation between age and wisdom. As we increase in age, our wisdom grows. Of course, this is not always the case for some, but it is mainly true.
Thinking out loud, I imagine success for me in my fifties will look like that I am totally getting along with my kids. I will be able to feel successful when I give my kids the wheel to drive our relationship to the next level, where they take responsibility for their actions, and I give them the space to make their own mistakes without trying to shelter them from the rest of the world. Having said that out loud, my brain is now wondering if I am only this wise to have this kind of success in my thirties and forties rather than wait for my fifties … I guess we have to wait until the wisdom kicks in.
Then, finally, there comes a point in our lives when success will mean getting up out of bed on our own without anyone’s help. Until that time comes, enjoy every minute of your life and take time to acknowledge and celebrate your success!
Dr. Taghreed Al-Saraj is a best-selling Saudi author, an international public speaker and an entrepreneurship mentor.