Success is in the eye of the beholder

What did you want to be when you were little? A fairy? A fireman? A policeman? Even perhaps a maid? Is that would would’ve made you happy or… successful? 

Today I was asked an interesting 2-part question:

Who do you think is great at life? What makes them successful?

Now, this is a question I’ve been dealing with a lot lately so it didn’t take me by surprise, however I still hadn’t managed to formulate a proper response for myself let alone for someone else!

As I sat there eating my lunch I realised I knew what I had to say, but was a bit afraid as it’s not an opinion most people share.

So I answered the first part and I said “happy people”. This for me is what makes someone great at life. However, my response needed elaboration; let me explain.

Most people think happy people have money – wrong! That’s what you think makes people happy, but I’ve realised over time that it’s not true.

When I said “happy” I was talking about those people who no matter what type of life they lead, they wake up every morning knowing how lucky they are. They live everyday overcoming obstacles and realising their own strength and potential. For me, being great at life has nothing to with money, but everything to do with integrity and happiness.

Someone can be waitressing their whole life and absolutely love it. They wake up everyday happy with what they’re doing which deserves the utmost respect. Now, I wouldn’t be able to do that, but that’s because I am a different person, and just like people have different opinions on who is great at life, people have different opinions on who succeeds in life. Which leads to my response for the second part.

You earn heaps of money?! OMG you’re soooooo successful!!!

As we map out our path in life, we realise that becoming what we want to be may not be as easy or possible as we once thought. We hit walls, break bones, but worst of all we usually succumb to society and end up belittling jobs that are at times deemed unsuccessful.

Yet one thing our ego allows us to forget is that the world does not revolve around our opinion. After speaking with many people, everyone had different versions of success. And to say that someone is unsuccessful because they’re not living by your definition or by what society has painted as success is a tad elitist.

What constitutes success? Money? Fame? Your opinion? A big house? What? What makes one successful in life?

Not everyone can be a doctor, or a lawyer or whatever else society has deemed important and respectable. Everyone has a job to do and all jobs need to be done. Every job is important, and just because you may be raking it in, does not make you better then me or anyone else.

Don’t get me wrong, utmost respect if you have worked hard and are doing what you want and getting paid well for it! But you’re not more successful than the guy who decided he wanted to cook burgers for a living 😉

If I held everyone to my standard of success, I highly doubt I would think many are succeeding- I don’t think the majority of the world population speaks 5 languages!

So I guess what i’m trying to say with this long train of thought you’ve just read, is that if you’re happy doing what you love and are sharing that love with everyone else, you’re doing great at life and succeeding – not matter your pay, whether high or low.

 

 

Travel and all the normal decisions that come with it

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to pack up your things and move? You don’t even have to pack anything up, just move! Away, far away where not a soul knows your name.

The1lit - travel

Have you ever?

The new year always brings about new resolutions, goals and aims. Some are doable, and others may take a lot more effort and imagination. Still, there they are. These expectations hover over of us, reminding us of what we have succeeded and failed to do – until the next countdown finishes and we start the clock again.

I want to move overseas. There I said it. I know! shock! horror! gasp! What 22 year old doesn’t want to move overseas?

It thrills me to think of jetting off and discovering new places. However it’s only recently, upon truly reflecting on the consequences of moving to a different country that I started to think of what, or rather who, I would miss the most.

The1lit - travelNow, I’m sure for most of you, family would be the immediate answer. For me, it’s another different story. It wouldn’t be my friends or best friend, or my shoe collection or significant other – no. None of these things. What I would miss the most would be my beautiful, warm, and stanky cat.

Reading worldofwanderlust’s article on whether or not the expat life is for you, I questioned whether I was up for the task. Would I be truly happy without seeing my cat? No more pats, no more purrs, no more paws. Just an occasional snapchat from my sister.

This newly found complication (yes, it is so) has thrown a spanner in the works. On one hand, I have this burning desire to leave, explore and learn. Whereas on the other I have this undying (and at times a bit exaggerated) love for my cat.

I want to realise my dreams, but is leaving Layla, (my cat) going to have to be a consequence of me realising my dream?

What do you think?

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I DON’T KNOW

I don’t know.

I don’t know if it’s because it’s the start of the year. I don’t know if it’s because I just got back from my holiday. I don’t know if it’s because I will have to make some tough, definite decisions about my life this year… I don’t know.

I seriously have no answers to any of my questions.

The1lit -  I don't know

Can I even blog? I don’t know

I’ve been thinking of a blog post lately – wondering about what it is I’ll say, what it is I will resolve, what conclusion I’ll come to upon reflecting on what I’m saying. But honestly, I haven’t come to any conclusions. I think about things and don’t have an answer. I feel things and I don’t know what I’m feeling. I speak to people and I make up some airy-fairy response about what I’m doing when in reality I’m lost and I need to be given a push. I need to be guided instead of do the guiding.

I am known as a reasonable and logical person amongst my friends (albeit me being plain crazy). I give reasonable, calculated and ethically (according to me 😉 ) correct advice. Yet when it comes to me, I can’t apply the same logic – so how logical and reasonable am I really? Do I even know what I’m saying to them when I say it? I don’t know.

So far this year has been great, but oddly ominous. Not much has changed in terms of day to day routine but everything has shifted. There’s an air of trepidation that I can’t shake – and I don’t know why – have I lost you yet? I am clearly rambling from my lack of not knowing things.

the1lit - i don't know - life

I started this post thinking I’d get an answer – an epiphany. I guess that only happens in the movies. But this is life and life is challenging, especially when you can’t see where your choices are taking you.

So, I look forward to the day when I get out of this tumultuous wave of possibility & doubt and enter the calmness of an open sea. When will that be? Who knows. Or rather I don’t know.

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All expenses paid trip overseas… almost

So again comes the time where I must bid farewell to my family and friends as I embark on another journey to stranger tides.

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Having come back in March from an almost 4 month trip around Europe, many found it hard to understand how it was, that I could afford another trip. Now, mind you I’m a student (recently graduated) so my financial situation is just like any other 21 year old stumbling their way through life – pretty much broke.

Therefore, how could a student, who’s not working and earning no income, able to afford a trip overseas – again? Unashamedly… my parents.

Your parents paid for what???

I don’t need to tell you what reaction I got when I said that (as you’re probably gasping too), but I found nothing wrong with it. No, correction – I find nothing wrong with it.

My parents have made it very clear that once I hit 25, i will have to pay for my own things. Which I find fair enough! I mean hopefully by then i will have had a job, earned some money and maybe even bought a car… maybe 😉 I in no way forced this upon them, and I know that if they weren’t able to do it, they wouldn’t have invited me!

trip overseas - the1lit

So why do I at times feel guilty?

Well, because people think I’m taking advantage of my parents. However, to that I must disagree and say 1. no and 2. no. I expect this to be the last family holiday we take because I know how expensive I can sometimes be. I’m not naive to the costs of a trip but I appreciate that my parents want to create more memories with my sister and me and that because of my financial situation are willing to pay.

I’m aware that not many people are this lucky, and not for one second do I take this for granted. But if they are willing, I’m not going to pass up a trip overseas – I mean, would you?

Do you, like so many other people, think I should already be cut off? Is 21 too old to be accepting trips from your parents?

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