What success is, what it isn’t, and why you should think more about it

“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” -Albert Einstein

All these “success motivational” YouTube channels and Instagram pages all say the same things. They all talk about “the grind,” hustling hard, putting in 100 hours of work per week, and all these other Wolf of Wall Street fortune cookie slogans. But none of them ask why. Why bother trying to work 80-100 hours per week to make a bunch of money? Why do you want that money? Are you going to do something positive with it, or do you want more money to have more money? Do you want to be seen by others as someone successful? Why? They are just as mortal and fallible as you are. You don’t know that they have their priorities straight. Why worry about being impressive to them?

Success is entirely subjective. Most of the things around “success” in our culture assume that we’re all talking about material success. They don’t think someone’s definition of success might be a good-paying 9-5, a house in the suburbs with a white picket fence, and plenty of time off with the wife and kids. They don’t think someone might consider themselves successful if they manage to figure out how to be happy living an intentionally austere life.

We have a lot of our ideas about success given to us. Don’t equate money and success. Don’t equate fame and success. They might be part of your idea of success, but you should understand why they are. Don’t do what you think will make you happy, figure out what is going to be most meaningful.

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