“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.”
– Bob Dylan (From the “Inspiration” app)
This one really resonates with me, because it’s how I’m coming to define what success would mean for me.
Notice that it contains none of the markers of success that are commonly used: wealth, cars, good exam results, a successful relationship, job promotions, stuff… Nothing material, in fact, and nothing apparently arbitrary (e.g. a job promotion).
However, that said, in saying “he does what he wants to do” Bob is saying that any of these traditional markers of success *can* still be used, if appropriate. For example, if you’re blissfully happy in your work, then you are probably successful – because you are doing what you want to do.
In essence, I think Bob is saying that you must be true to yourself; if you are true to yourself, you will be doing what you want to do (not something else, for somebody else, or for another reason, e.g. money). This is why I don’t consider myself completely successful at the moment, because the work I do (and hence a large proportion of the things I get up to between getting up in the morning and going to bed at night) is not something I want to do; I do it, quite shamelessly, for the money. The question for me is: how long can I keep it up for?