How do YOU define success?

It’s that end of year time, when exams are finishing up, and you are looking forward to whatever is next!

Or are you?

What is coming next?  Is it what you really want?  Did you choose the university and subject you really wanted?  Or did your parents and teachers push you in a certain direction?  Are you going to work in a company that you feel will really fit your character and ambitions?  Or are you going for the safe option, that “will give you a stable career”?

It can be very scary to make big decisions, because the risk of “getting it wrong” may look so huge.  But, what might be even more important is the risk of getting it wrong, to please someone else!

As a mother, I learnt very early on to give up on “my” idea of what was a great career path for my children.  I had always assumed they would all be intellectually bright, like me, go to a “top” university, and work in business, as I have.  Well….. it did not really work out that way!  My eldest, Grace, is a ballet dancer, and does not have a degree.  Why?  Not because she is not smart – she could easily have got a place at Cambridge or Harvard or NUS, but she CHOSE to become a dancer, with the incredibly hard work that that implies, from a very young age.  (I remember when she was ten, she explained that she could  not remember a day without pain, ever!).

Here is an interview with Grace, done last year.  I am not showing you this to be a proud mom (though of course I am!), but because it is the story of someone who is truly happy in her work, who defined her own path, and continues to be consciously happy about who she is and what she does, while constantly striving to improve.  If that is not success, then I do not know what is!

Think hard about your own success path.  Who defined it?  Are you still excited by it?  Have you ever been excited by it?  What are you doing to make it even better?  There is so much to get right…

More on this subject in a forthcoming edition of BecomingGlobal, the newsletter that supports you towards your best career, from age 17 up!