When you start planning for a career, you start thinking about things you like to do. You try things and find what you enjoy. Some things you will like, and other’s you might like for a while, and still others you try, but won’t like, so you try something else. It’s almost like dating! When you date, you try people on for size, to see if they “fit”. The hope is that you find something you like to do, and enjoy the success that comes along with it. Going to work can be wonderful if you love what you do. If you love what you do, work or otherwise, you can feel successful.
So how do you find something that you like to do? When you were young, you learned about different things and jobs and careers. You also learned about things that you liked to do, like sports, or art, or math (I know, that’s a stretch), but you also tried some things on for size. My daughter is very good at art. She gets better every day as she draws and practices. I have another daughter who is very good at swimming. They both get frustrated at times with things they like to do, but as they keep doing those things, they get better, and enjoy it more.
That’s really part of the process of finding something you like to do. It doesn’t always come easy, and it’s not always fun, and that’s hard to understand at times. Some people get frustrated and give up and move on to something else, only to find out that they didn’t like that either. Finding something you are good at, and that you like to do, is hard at times, but it’s worth doing. However, understanding that sometimes even something you enjoy is not fun is an important lesson as well. People don’t feel successful every day. The feeling is a general feeling, over time, and some days are better than others.
How do you define successful? Is it about money or honesty? Is it about being happy? Is it about a job, or about something you do after your job? Is it about something completely different? Take some time and define that for yourself. Many people make it about money, but for others it’s more about the feeling that you want to get up every day and make a difference. Whatever you choose to do, do your best. That’s what makes you successful, in my book. I have talked with people who make very little money, but they enjoy what they do and feel like they make a difference. They focus on their kids, and are the best parent they can be. They focus on relationships, and feel good about helping others. They do their job to the best of their ability, and go home at the end of the day, happy and feeling good about themselves and the world around them, no matter what the news says.
When you think about being successful, think about what it means to you. Define it for yourself, and take some time to work toward whatever success you want. It’s all part of being happy for life.