What is success for you?

“This is my mind, and I want it to work for me, not against me”, my friend said. “Let other people say to me negative things, I can ignore them. But why should I say those negative things to myself?”

We have our thinking habits, and my habit is to focus on the negative. To see my past as a disadvantage, to look into future and catastrophize, and interpret the present events in a negative light. But all the habits are an object of change, if you want. It takes time and effort, but it is possible to change the thinking patterns just as it is possible to change lifestyle habits like eating and exercising. This is a period of my life that can be named “change”. I have always been interested in self-development and growth, but it seems like right now this process is even more intense than usually. There are many tools and ideas that inspire me to change and I hope to share some of them here on the blog. And today I want to share some thoughts about success.

I used to think of success as one-size-fits-all phenomenon. Like there is this one mountain top that everyone has to reach in order to call himself successful. And then I stumbled upon this idea. Maybe, it is not new to you, but it was new to me: you have to make your own definition of success. Get clear about your values, your goals and desires – this is what will be in YOUR OWN understanding of success. And let this be your compass that will lead you to your mountain top. I thought, I understood this idea. Maybe, I did it with my head – but it didn’t sink deeply, as I see now.

I have come to see that I measure other people’s success by the definitions of my own. And my own success I see through other’s eyes and so it loses its value. But how can I look down on someone who is content with achievements that I don’t value? (and yes, I do it, though I may deny it to myself). Of course, he didn’t achieve a thing, because he is using a different compass. And if in his head he is a champion, even though I don’t see it so, but isn’t it great? Isn’t it great that he has created the reality in which he feels successful? Better so than a person who has achieved a lot, but sees himself as a loser.

The same insight can help me to see myself from a different view (and I start to notice that whatever I think about others, I tend to think about myself. So being kind to others turns out to be the kindness to myself, too).  I use to say that I have achieved my goals. But if I dig deeper, I don’t really feel like that. I see myself in the age between 20 and 30, not feminine, hippie style, in baggy pants and colorful sweaters, no boyfriend and no dating experience (I used to be a member of a strict church, where dating before marriage was not acceptable). And I feel myself as a loser. But what a minute! Was style, femininity, dating and relationships on my set of goals? No, they were not. There was a dream to live in different countries, to travel around Europe, to meet its people and to study in the European university. And did I make some of those goals? I made them all. So actually, I am winner.

But why do I look at myself with the eyes of those girls who have always valued feminine style and being in a relationship? Because, yeah, through their eyes I must look like a loser. But why should I now take their perspective? Why should I drag myself down – all by myself? Because I learnt to see my value through other people’s eyes when I was growing up? But now I am adult and I can choose how I want to see myself. And I choose to see it this way: I have used my compass and arrived at my mountain top. And I know now that I achieve my goals and whatever I wish for now, is possible. So I can reframe my past and make it into my success story.

May everyone write his or her success story. May there be more winners who can give thumbs up to each other, instead of dragging others and themselves down.

(Then and Now. 10 years ago I was on a day trip to Stavanger and took this photo, and last October I visited this place again, found the same door and took the same picture :))

19 thoughts on “What is success for you?

  1. А дверь, похоже, недавно покрасили! 🙂
    Я не могу поделиться своей историей успеха, мне просто никогда не приходило такое в голову, я как-то никогда не оценивала себя с точки зрения других. Мне было главное, чтоб было комфортно именно мне, а то что какая-то баба Клава будет считать меня неудачницей из-за статуса “не замужем”, и т.д., так Пффффф!! Это моя жизнь, такая коротенькая, некогда переживать из-за наносного. Так что этот самый success ….не думала.
    Но я очень за тебя рада, что ты увидела реальность и свои достижения, добиться такого своими силами, без помощи, совсем не просто. Так держать!)))


    • Спасибо за деление!
      Я с 20 до 30 лет проходила этот период “отрыва от общественного мнения”. Думала, что совсем избавилась от этой оглядки на других, но вот глубокий анализ показал, что не совсем)). Головой понимаю, а сердцем еще не совсем по-новому живу.
      и осознать, что я в своей жизни добилась своего успеха – это тоже процесс. почему-то мне кажется, что это пустяки, вот другие, да они молодцы, а я тут сбоку постою)))

      а дверь да, покрасили, и ручку поменяли)) 10 лет прошло, как подумать!


  2. I have always struggled with what success should look like. Here I am in another country, not developing my professional career, without a family, not married, but in my late 20’s. Some may consider this failure, and not success. But you are absolutely right, success is the way you see it in your eyes, and traveling, experiencing new cultures and a new way of living is successful to me. Thank you for the reminder that success can be found in many ways, shapes, and forms.


    • Thank you for the kind words! I am glad that my text could give you a perspective. I am sure, you knew this before, but a reminder is always good, when the timing is right 🙂 Travel and experience as much as you can and want! These are the true riches, I believe. In the end of the life, we will measure it by the sum of experiences, not of achievements.

      Liked by 1 person

      • So true and I could not have said it better myself. Thank you for such a wonderful reminder that where I am in life right now is only making me grow “richer” with experience and not necessarily monetary value. I appreciate your insight and really enjoy your posts so thank you for that.


      • Thank you for the warm reply! I feel kinda wise and experienced now, haha. Maybe, yes or not, but I have lived some years in different countries, and making different choices than the rest teaches you a lot. I guess, this was my education which I start to appreciate only now. Thank you for reading and liking, it feels sometimes lonely here (do you feel it too?), among so many blogs. But let us share our voice!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I hear you 100%. That’s why it is so important to support each other through our thoughts and voices on our blogs because sharing our voices online can be difficult for fear of being judged by others. But you are doing the right thing by inspiring others through your blog and online presence.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are so right! And though it feels like swimming in an ocean, I hope to build a community that will be a support to each other. Blogging is such a great way to connect to each other across the borders and timezones 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes I agree 1000%. I started up a Rome Bloggers group here in Rome for bloggers to connect and support each other, because I felt that that community was lacking here. We host monthly meet-ups and socials with speakers and topics. It has been a great way to meet so many cool people here who have the same love for writing and creating 🙂


      • How cool is that! You go and start a group by yourself! You must also love some organizing plus to writing)) Great initiative, good luck with the project! Now I know that if I miss such thing, I could be starting it myself (scary)🙊

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well I was apart of the organization when I lived in the states and then I decided to start a group here under their umbrella. So although I did it by myself physically, I had support from other only a phone call away to help me. Here is our official site: http://thebloggerunion.com/rome-italy-bloggers/. If you do feel like something like this is lacking in your community, definitely start an initiative to make a change!


      • I see. I never thought of it, but this must be a logical meet-up, to get bloggers together to build a community also offline. Maybe, I am just not informed enough about blogger activities in Oslo 🙂 definitely would love to have this experience. Thanks for advice!

        Liked by 1 person

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