I always wanted to be successful. But I got to a point in my life where I questioned what successful meant. Then I learned the true definition of success.
When I first got out of college, actually I was going to college, I had a job in a warehouse. I was a forklift driver…and it was at one of those big warehouse clubs that we’re all familiar with. I was there for quite a few years and while I was working there, and for me I knew it was a temporary stop in my life, I would be there for a few years . There were other people there who had already been working there for many years and I knew would be working there for many more years , which is great.
While in this job driving a forklift every morning, it was one of my jobs to unload the trucks, tractor trailers that came in. And you need a lot of really awesome people when you’re doing that…honest-to-God. Truck drivers are some of the coolest, most down-to-earth people I’ve ever met. Stereotypes…I get it, but it’s true.Broadly speaking, they’re just awesome awesome people.
They’re laid back, they could talk to anybody. They’re perfectly happy and content with who they are in their own skin and I think a lot of that comes down to probably a couple thing. One they spend a lot of time on the road by themselves and when you have that amount of time to just kind of think and reflect on life and you start putting in perspective what’s what’s important to you. I think that’s that’s part of it. The other thing is it took me a while to realize…the other thing is it came down to success.
How I learned to define success
For as long as I can remember I always wanted to be successful. But I got to a point in my life where I was like what the hell does that even mean…what does successful even mean?
And it means something different to everybody
For awhile, for me, it was..success…I’m going to be filthy rich, I’m going to have beautiful cars, I’m going to have a beautiful home, massive home. Then I started to realize, especially by way of getting to know some of these truck drivers, my definition of success drastically changed. And it turned into “being able to live your life in your own”.
I can’t take credit for that definition of success. I came across that a long time ago. It as actually a quote from an American journalist, his name was Chris Morley, he died some time in the 50’s. But it really got me thinking, because if you’re saying to yourself “I want to be successful”, “I want to be successful”, you might as well not want anything at all.
And what I mean by that is that you need to crystalize what that means for you. And that’s what I do for myself too. Right, because if you’re speaking vaguely, there’s no way to achieve a goal that’s undefined.
Focus on the positive in order to be successful
But bring it back to these truck drivers for a minute. These guys were absolutely content and satisfied with their worlds and what they had. So for them, they were successful. They had accomplished what they wanted to. They had such a high, high level of gratitude.
They were focused on everything that they had and they weren’t focused on the things that they didn’t. And I say that because in speaking with them , they were all so friendly, so candid and so comfortable in their own skin. Which made me realize they were focused on what they had, and what they had accomplished.
I’ve been horrible at doing that. I’m actually typically focused on the things I don’t have. And I’m realizing as I get older that’s just poison, that’s poison. You have to have an attitude of thankfulness. You have to have an attitude of gratitude. And you have to be grateful for those things that you have. And that changes your entire outlook on things. And that will allow you and that will enable you to go another step further in achieving your own definition of success.
So I’d love to hear more about how you define success for yourselves. If you feel like sharing it, I would love to read it in the comments. I would love to talk about it. So go ahead and think about what success means for you and put it in the comments and let’s talk about it.