What Does Success Really Mean?

Success I had a great discussion at the end of my day in the office. I was bordering on exhaustion but sometimes great conversation can really provide an energy boost. I had just completed a good but tiring day. There were interesting patients, positive feedback, a few laughs with the great people I work with and a productive day of seeing consults and doing some laser surgery.

I was finishing off some paperwork when a couple of the pharmaceutical reps knocked on my door. They wanted to have a quick chat. We got to talking about the challenges of being working mothers as one of us had a 16 month old girl, the other a 3 year old boy and myself a 4 year old boy.

Juggling a career, motherhood and domestic stuff at home is exhausting. We all felt this sense that we had to sacrifice striving for our potential while our kids were young. We grappled with doing what we want to do and not what we should do.  It is so challenging to be there for our kids in the way we want to be and simultaneously go full throttle pursuing our career aspirations.

So, we keep working but not striving, we keep working but sometimes stopped dreaming (at least about anything that we aspire to, the dreams we have for our children abound). We felt like we were in this holding pattern called motherhood. We loved our children with every ounce of our beings, but we struggled not to lose ourselves.

The topic of what does success really mean came up in the conversation. There is no harm in having huge career or financial aspirations. But if all that matters is the corner office, the world class speaking circuit, a book on the bestseller list or a 7 figure income, we may end up feeling empty and miss incredible moments with our families.

Yet, if we can look into our hearts, we find a different definition of success that really rings true. Success for me is pursuing work I love on my own terms, growing and constantly learning as I strive to reach my full potential and making a difference in the lives of other human beings on the planet. This I can do. Being a great Mom, friend, wife, boss and colleague fits in the confines of that definition. At the end of the day, and at the end of our lives we are a success if we lived with passion, we learnt with abandon and we left a legacy of love.

What does success look like for you?



« | »
  • http://twitter.com/captivemedical Michael Allen

    Great post. As a single Dad, I’ve struggled with the guilt of working all day then picking my kids up for the precious two hours before bed time. Thankfully, our society is starting to recognize the systemic flaws and many of my personal friends are quitting their day jobs to pursue opportunities that provide 5, 6, or 7you figures with residual income so they can have flexibility to be the parents our kids deserve.

    [Reply]