The following column is the opinion and analysis of the writer, Katharina Buczek.
What does “success” look like to you? You might be envisioning a wardrobe chock full of power suits, a lofty office in a high-rise building, and a prestigious degree framed and proudly hanging behind your desk.
Now, consider what makes you feel fulfilled. What environments make your life feel more meaningful? Are you envisioning a conference room with other executives, a bustling city, a sprawling beach, or a quiet forest?
Likewise, think about what activities make you feel a greater sense of purpose, passion, and contentment. Do you enjoy painting? Reading? Spending time in nature? Connecting with loved ones on a deeper level that surpasses surface-level gossip and small talk? Giving back to the community and making your tiny corner of the Earth a bit better than you found it?
These activities give us joy and peace, making us feel free while simultaneously connected to those around us. This is the epitome of fulfillment– what we should all be chasing.
I know this sounds counterintuitive. Growing up, you were probably told to be “successful.” So, you subsequently worked toward what other people told you “success” was and pictured this idea how it was portrayed in books and movie screens.
Maybe you pursued higher education and graduated with a prestigious degree. Perhaps you commute an hour or more to work in a major metropolitan city every day simply because that’s what everyone else in your family does.
Or you might be putting off investing in yourself and your true goals to save up for a house or children– ideas of adulthood success you think you are supposed to work toward.
But the truth is that there’s no one true meaning of “success.”