Once I was obsessed with movement, in the truest sense; my mind danced the cha-cha with dreams of success. Tense, pent up energy, manifesting as movement, moving around, searching for something outside of myself to soothe the existential dread. I believed that I was not enough, and to become enough I must become successful, for then, I finally be enough. Oh, how young I was, how wrong I was; it’s ok, I tell myself, many fall prey to the material ideal. The ideal, by which a linear relationship exists between self-worth and value of material goods acquired; a triangular relationship between achievement, social standing and self-esteem. We must get the house, the flashy car, the model wife, the corporate career, and then, and only then, will we be enough… wrong. It is in this moment of apparent triumph do we feel hollow and vacant.
This way of living is tiring, and it is unfulfilling. You have been sold a narrative of endless achievement, sub-consciously believing that this is the path of the happy one; the path toward contentment, the version of reality in which your woes and pains will slip away. You seek to remove your shackles, the shackles that have been placed on you without your consent; a weighted burden. I’m here to say that you can be free, you can free yourself; contentment is only a hair-width away.
What’s your version of success? Is it the amazing wife and the adorable children, with a white picket fence to boot? What about the Lamborghini, fresh suit, living as an entrepreneurial yuppie? Maybe it’s even to be the best gamer this planet has ever known? Who knows? Success is defined by the individual, not the society; success is whatever you make it. How absurd it is to compare your life to the culturally dominant version of success, for success is inherently subjective, thus is differs from person to person. The gamer who compares her life to the materialistic ideal of success will always feel inadequate in the shadow of this ideal, unless she consciously defines her version of success. To define your own version of success, is to free yourself from the bonds that society has placed upon us, freeing your life from the burden that is sociocultural expectation.
How do you define success?