A definition of success is defined by the individual. Success also evolves as we travel through life. Our hopes and desires change as we experience life. When I was in high school, I desired to graduate, and when I did I would succeed. Then my goal of success was to obtain a college degree and become a veterinarian. I also wanted an income that provided a huge amount of money. At that stage in my life, money represented freedom. Freedom to purchase anything I desired, to travel and experience life. The gauge of my success was my bank account.
Life does not go as we plan. Our pathway through life has many ups and downs, curves and twists, most we did not plan for. I have made some bad choices through my lifetime. I have made some good and excellent choices. My definition of success has changed with each life experience.
After almost six decades of living, I look back and see my successes. I have raised four children who are contributing members of society. They have found and married people who are good to and for them. They did not make as many bad choices as I have. This is one of my successes, the success of being a good parent.
I am a sheep farmer, raising registered Fullblood Dorper sheep. My goal is to raise excellent quality sheep for breeding. This last spring I reached my goal, I am producing some excellent quality breeding stock. This coming April, I will be showing one of the sheep I raised, and will see what others think of my quality of sheep.
I want harmony and peace on my place. I have harmony and peace on my place, even among the animals there is a harmony and peace. I do not want conflict with others including family. My husband and I had grown children when we married. We thought there would be no problems of children accepting the other’s spouse, and we would be a happy blended family. His children were in their late 20’s, mine were 18 years to mid 20’s. We both had been divorced for several years before we met and married. My children accept and love him, grandchildren call him PaPa. His two children disrespect and despise me, his grandchildren are told I am not a grandparent and they do not have to do anything I ask to be done. Have we failed in creating a happy blended family – No.
For fourteen years, his children come for a visit and create conflict with me during the visit. Our harmony and peace is gone during their visits. Did we fail in creating a happy blended family – NO. Sometimes what we want for success is not just in our control. His children made the choice to not accept me, that was out of our control. This year before Christmas, my husband chose to write a letter to each of his children, stating they could not come to our home until they changed how they treated me and him. Was this letter a sign of failure or giving up -No. The choice is theirs on if they return to our home for a visit, but there are conditions to be met if they want to visit. The harmony and peace of our home will not be compromised by their visit. My husband made this choice in order to succeed in keeping harmony and peace on our place, something we both desire. Sometimes to have success, tough choices have to be made. We are succeeding in keeping our home filled with harmony.
Our definition of success is simply to live a happy life with each other and family. We want our bills paid each month with some extra money for those small desires of seeing family and spoiling grandchildren. We want harmony and peace in our home, after decades of living and experiencing conflicts, the desire for harmony and peace is strong. Our bank account is not the gauge of our success.
Have I succeeded in life with no more to look forward to or strive for, absolutely not. There are still goals and plans for our future. I will consider myself a success as a writer when I publish my first book. Just the publishing of the book will be a success, not the amount of income I receive. I am a success with my sheep farming, and reminded of that success each day when I care for the sheep. We both have the desire to raise a sheep that wins a grand championship. I have a desire to train one of my border collies to trial and place in the finals at the Meeker Classic, a very prestigious herding dog trial. In the back of my mind is to build the house I dreamed of and had blueprints created seven years ago.
Will all of these goals be achieved? I dream and hope so. If they are not, am I a failure – No. My life is filled with successes, dreams fulfilled and goals reached. I consider myself successful. Success is defined by the individual, not by others.