Redefining the Meaning of Success

Updated on August 8, 2019
Rachel Aldinger profile image

Rachel is an avid reader and writer of young adult literature.

When I was a kid, I used to dream of being a movie star. That was my plan and I just figured it would somehow “work out.” As I grew older, I realized maybe being a movie star wasn’t a foolproof plan. So, I convinced my friend to start a band and decided on a backup plan—to be a singer. That was fun, but clearly didn’t work out. When I realized I’d never be able to move a crowd with my music because getting on stage would be a total nightmare, I came up with my third and final plan—to be happy.

I was caught up in the idea of success. The idea that I needed to do something with my life that made me seem successful. A career that paid the “big bucks” that people would recognize me for. But as I grew older, I realized I didn’t want any of those things. All I really wanted was to do what I loved and be happy.

I found what I really loved. Writing. So, I went to college to further my craft and decided that while I would try to become a published author, publishing isn’t the end goal. I write not because I think it will take me somewhere, but because I love it, and I couldn’t imagine my life without that creative outlet. Writing is my passion. It is my heart. It fills my soul. Writing makes me a better person and helps me see the world from new perspectives. Writing makes my life make sense.

I’ve written countless pieces I’ve tried to have published and have more rejections than I can count. So far, I’ve failed to be a published author, but I haven’t failed. I haven’t failed because I began. I succeeded in writing multiple full-length novels. Are any of them published? No. Maybe one day. But even if I’m never published, I can still be proud of myself for what I’ve accomplished. A lot of people dream of writing a novel—I actually did it and I loved every second of it. I’m successful because I found a passion that has brought so much joy into my life. Writing makes me happy.

Success isn’t measured in material worth. I’m successful because I get up every day and live this life the best I can. I make time for friends and family, and the things that I love. I’m successful because I haven’t forgotten what’s really important. The most important thing in life isn’t success—like, what is success, really?

The most important thing in life is to love and to be loved.

So yeah, I’m not a movie star or singer, and I’m not a published author, but that’s okay. Because it’s a good life and I’m lucky to call it mine.

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