What do you consider to be a true sign of success in life?
Is it money?
Is it fame?
Is it power?
Is it love?
Is it getting lots of Follows and Likes on Social Media?
Is it being able to eat pizza, bacon, cake and chocolate while sitting on a comfy sofa playing video games all day, and not only lose weight on the diet but also gain muscle definition because your video game character walked for miles across the desert while carrying the equivalent fo 20 grand pianos in weaponry and random loot?
There are lots of people out there in the world who like to tell us what success is…
they’re usually also the same people who like to tell us that if we hand over X amount of money to them, they’ll make us successful…
using the same tricks which are available for free, those tricks we all know about already, which we have probably already tried, parrot-fashion, and maybe found didn’t work for us because everyone knows about them and when you use them everybody knows what you’re doing (and thinks you’re being a wanker, maybe), and everybody does not liked to be tricked, especially not using the obvious tricks…
and everyone else is doing it too and…
we’re all rather bored of those tricks.
We want something different… but what?
Have you ever noticed how those who like to tell others what success is, and who may also be selling you a success for you package once you hand over your money and your life to them, don’t seem to be all that successful.
The above blurb came partially from reading a wonderfully clever post – How I got 54 blog followers in 10 years. The title alone is worthy of a blog Oscar for awesome and hilarious titles which hit a brutal and beautiful nail on the head without smashing a thumb because you got distracted while bringing down the hammer!
It also came from clicking on a link in that post which led to the sort of site which likes to tell people what success is and how to get it. It was an interesting site to explore… not necessarily for the reasons they think they’re an interesting site to explore.
It also came from finding myself recently being faced with having to do some things which I really don’t want to do.
I’m weird, like most people… except I’m sort of weirder than most people (or at least most people I’ve met both offline and online keep making me aware that I might be weirder than most people… in a good way?)
The point of saying that is… the sort of things I don’t want to do are the sort of things which other people might think – I’d love to do that!
While the sort of things I do want to do are the sort of things which other people might say – Oh, hell no! – about.
I do agree that money and power are useful to have… and they’re pretty good signs of a certain kind of success… and if you have money you have power, but you don’t necessarily have money if you have power… power is an odd concept. Money is just money… unless you enter the world of finance and then money is almost everything except money in paper and coins but everything can be turned into paper and coins kind of money… but you may have to wait a while for that to happen and it all depends upon wars and shit working in your favour.
Fame…. not so sure about that since it sometimes seems to be a punishment, a pedestal you’re put on so that others can play Jenga with the pedestal’s foundations.
Love… love is abstract and like all abstract things one minute you have it and the next minute you have it but it’s changed form and you might wish you didn’t have it in that form.
But what do I consider a true sign of success in life?
When I truly want to know what I think of something… I usually check out what my child self thought it was, because she was less brainwashed by society and the media and adult thinking than grown up me is.
One story popped into my mind.
When I was about 8 or 9, I was asked if I wanted to learn how to water ski. I said: Yeah, whatever. It looked like great fun, but I had to be careful about how much enthusiasm I showed because the adults around me regularly set traps for me to fall into. Asking you if you wanted to do something – always a trap!
So, I was given the gift of a series of lessons – I had one week to learn how to do it.
I excelled at it – or so my water skiing teacher told my paying the teacher X amount for the lessons to make their kid a genius parent. I have no idea if I was really good at it or not because adults are such fantasists and liars, but I stayed on the skis more than I fell in the water.
The learning skis were tied together and when I was given the not-tied-together skis because I had advanced to the next level… let’s just say I ended up being a mono-skiing whiz because one ski flew off and the only way not to fall in the water (and get eaten by the great white shark which I was certain was there waiting to be served its child canape) was to stay on one ski and make do with it.
Just before the end of my week of lessons something happened (no idea what it was, but it changed the experience for child me – I think it may have had something to do with there being too much pressure which eventually wiped out all the fun. This was a common occurrence in my life as a child, after a few days of learning anything my parents expected me to be a professional, if I wasn’t that would be the end of that), and I suddenly refused to take my last two lessons. I did not want to water ski anymore – I did (just not around the people I had to do it around) – and I said as much very firmly, and had to stick with my decision to not do it.
My parent and the ski teacher bullied me relentlessly… adults… they never learn… bullying child me was a guarantee that I would never do whatever it was that the adults wanted me to do. My parent ended up taking my penultimate lesson for me… that was probably one of the funniest and most agonising things I’ve ever seen… the very last lesson was written off (but I did have to hear about for the next few years).
One of the lasting impressions which that experience left me with, eventually merged with other lasting impressions from other experiences – like the endless ones of being regularly dragged as a child to adult events where I was expected to behave as an adult (better than the adults, since the adults were usually causing all sorts of chaos), and be as invisible as possible so as not to bother the adults (but the adults could bother me as much as they liked), and the one time I refused because I wanted to stay at home and watch a fun film for kids on TV (and be a kid for once), I was adult-tantrumed at and left on my own to stew in my wrongful wrongness to become painfully aware of how wrong I was for wronging the rule of adults who were always right.
Anyway… somewhere along the way I decided that real success in life is:
1 – being able to be yourself as is (which in my case is messy falling through a thorny hedge in slow motion)
2 – being able to do what you want to do (within reason, of course… if I want to kill someone or nuke an entire section of the human world, I’ll only do it in video games because doing it outside of video games isn’t healthy but doing it in video games gets you leveled-up)
3 – not having to do things I don’t want to do – this, to me, is the ultimate in success!
Do you know why I don’t want to do those things?
Because I’m not good at doing those things, I have tried to do them repeatedly and I am not good at them.
However I am good at doing other things – Why do people keep wanting me to do what I can’t and don’t want to do!? Why do people keep wanting me to be who I am not and don’t want to be?
I’m beginning to think that I’m not as weird as most people, and that most people are far weirder than me.
And over to you…
What do you consider to be a true sign of success in life?
Are you weird?
Are you sure you’re the one who is weird?