Success can be a funny thing. We tend to think, “Once I get to this specific point I will have succeeded, and then I will be happy.” But the idea of success tends to morph and change the closer we get to realizing one form of it.
For example, success could have been starting university. Then success could have been completing a hard course, graduating, finding a job, moving up in the job. The thing is that we tend to pin our future on the idea that we can relax when we reach “success”. It seems, though, that as soon as we reach a point of success, we may celebrate for a moment, but within that same moment success moves, it morphs into something else and we’re now looking at that point.
When we apply to university we believe we will be happy when we get in, but once we are that idea moves down the line to graduation. If we stop and consider where we are in this moment odds are that it was once a point of success where you figured once you got there, you could relax.
The idea that the concept of success is always changing and growing as we do is good, it keeps us motivated. However, the idea that we can’t relax or enjoy certain things until then is dangerous, because it is a moving target, and one I don’t think anyone can definitively reach. It is important to take a step back and recognize where you are now, consider that this is a moment of success on its own.
Success doesn’t need to be something big either. It can be finishing a tough assignment or completing a course. It is too easy to push things aside and say “I will do this when…” but that when might never come. Each time I achieve something I once considered being the turning point of success that moment has passed with little celebration and I move that success marker further down the path, making my “when” “never”.
I pushed myself hard through my degree. And after that, I pushed myself to my new point of success, and then to get one foot in the publishing world, but now that I have one foot in in the form of internships, I feel like I need to get my other in to consider it a success. But I know, by looking back, that once I get both feet in, it still won’t feel “successful” I will still push myself forward.
So maybe part of being successful, reaching that ever-moving target, is stopping along the way to enjoy the victories and remind yourself that where you stand right now, in this moment, was once your success signpost.