Our doubts are traitors,
and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt.
Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
The measure of success – what is it really?
For the better part of three decades, I measured my success by other people’s expectations, not only of me but of themselves. It was only when I turned 40 that I realized but no one else was going to live my life but me. And therefore, I shouldn’t continue to measure it by anything but my own expectations and dreams.
Don’t ask me what was so magical about turning 40 that made me realize this. I’ve met men and women in their seventies who still live their life fearing the judgement of others and feeling as if they will never measure up. So it’s not just age that is the trigger.
Whatever it was, it was a prison of my own making — this notion that I must live up to others expectations and dreams and forgo my own. And there are still days, where I long for the peace and tranquillity of a familiar cell over the unknown path ahead.
I think it is fair to say that there is no true measure of success — such a thing is too subjective. What someone else would consider a weed, I see as a beautiful flower and a life-giving perch for pollinators.
Taking the time to see and hear and love and protect nature — that is the measure of a life well-lived.
Fighting for a just cause — that is the measure of a life well-lived.
Being there for your friends and family as often as you can — that is the measure of a life well-lived.
Forgiving yourself and others as we are all only human — that is the measure of a life well-lived.
Loving at least one other human being more than yourself — that is the measure of a life well-lived.
Fulfilling your dream even if no one else sees it or hears is it or even realizes what your dream is — that is the measure of a life well-lived.
What do you consider the measure of a successful life?
Joining the Five Minute Friday writing prompt challenge as part of my goal to write and publish once a week in 2019. Find out more here.
A member of the Water Street Writers, Mikaela D’Eigh is a writer, poet, and lover of Scotch. She lives out in the country with two Egyptian gods disguised as cats, a herd of cows, and a flock of wild turkeys. Check her out at La Belle Dame Merci and on Medium for more articles, poetry, and shenanigans.
Image copyright 2019 MAG