Success and The Meaning of Life
Monday, August 24, 2015
What is "being successful"? I've been thinking about this some, lately. What I see is that often the people who are deemed "successful" are a) rich, b) incredibly over-stressed, c) too busy to enjoy life, or d) all of the above. I know success has to do with attaining goals, but I think real success for me comes with attaining goals that give meaning to my life.
It seems to me that it's important to have meaningful work to do--whether for pay or not, I'm not talking about a career, necessarily--in order to feel that my life has meaning and purpose. Over the past few months, my meaningful work has changed. I enjoyed my work in an elementary school, helping English language learners and their parents, and that felt very meaningful. But this year I'm taking a break from that, in order to care for my two-yr-old great nephew, and make a home for him and his young parents. And also, to devote more time to caring for my elderly parents, who also live with us. So yes, we are a multi-generational household (4 generations!), with an 82-yr age span between the youngest and oldest!
It's a blessing to me to find that I feel a lot of joy and meaning in doing this, in making a possibly huge difference in the future of this little family, who so needed a boost. It's a big responsibility, and brings many stresses with it (who knew I'd be back to chauffeuring "kids" to and fro again, or dealing with temper tantrums?), but it feels important. I feel like if I can do this well, I'll have a reason to feel successful.
I may not be pulling in a huge salary (well, I'm DEFINITELY not), but love is the only really lasting commodity anyway, right? The only one we get to keep forever.
I wonder what makes life worth living for others of you?