You've been there before -- we all have.
Someone tells you or makes you feel that you have to be "successful," that you have to live up to some unnecessary societal standard.
Family members, friends, the media -- everyone is telling you that you have to make it big, or you'll end up a failure; you have to keep pushing yourself further, to be better and better, whatever "better" means anyway.
But you're already perfectly happy right where you are!
I want you to know that the odds are in your favor. Chances are you'll go on to lead a happy life, whether you're striving for “success” or not.
At least, that's what they taught you in your liberal arts program.
I believe everyone who follows his or her passions in a constructive manner will go on to be successful in his or her own way, however he or she chooses to define “success.”
I also believe it's monumentally important for every single person to strive for success, to always be growing, to constantly push the limits of his or her capabilities.
You may think of many others aside from these, and you may disagree. Either way, here are four reasons why I believe your personal “success” matters.
Your success could be the reason for someone else's success.
There are reasons why you've come as far as you have. I'm sure hard work and intelligence are among those.
I'm also sure someone else played a part. Maybe it was a parent, a spouse, a friend, an expert in a field you're passionate about. At least part of the reason you've gotten to where you are today is because of the influence of someone else, if not because of many others.
Be that influence for others. Make a positive impact on as many lives as you can!
Every decision you make, day-in and day-out, affects the level of positive influence you could potentially have on your contemporaries and on those who follow.
Your success in whatever you choose to do dictates, at least in part, your ability to be a role model to wannabee success stories -- to your kids, your coworkers, friends, family, students, everyone.
Your success matters because it has a direct effect on the success of others.
You need self-actualization.
Most anyone who has studied management or organizational behavior is familiar with psychologist Abraham Maslow and his hierarchy of human needs.
At the top of this hierarchy is a person's need for self-actualization, which is defined as "the realization or fulfillment of one's talents or potentialities, especially considered as a drive or need present in everyone."
Boiled down, self-actualization means to be happy and to find your worth through some ability of your own.
For some, this occurs through parenting; for others, through unrestricted travel. Others still may find it through owning a business. The possibilities are endless because the number of personalities and talents are endless.
We all have different talents. Thus, we all experience fulfillment or self-actualization in different ways.
Where you are able to utilize your best talents most is where you will be most successful. Where you are most successful utilizing your talents is where you will be happiest.
Your success matters because the regular use of your best talents makes you happy.
The more success you have, the more what you say matters.
We all want to feel important. We all want our thoughts, feelings, opinions and views to matter to others. That's simply human nature, the way we were designed.
Additionally, many of us seek to be (many already are!) a positive influence on the world. The more you achieve, by any standard, the more people are willing to listen and adhere to your views and recommendations.
The more you do, the more influence you have.
"Be the change you wish to see in the world." -- Mahatma Gandhi
Climb as high up the mountain as you can, so everyone may look up to you. Be the best example.
If you want to have a positive influence on the world, and I'd imagine you do, then push yourself to be the best you can be. Be the leader you had, or you wish you'd had.
Succeed in whatever you do so you may lead others to succeed in whatever they want to do. Your success matters because your impact on those around you, and on the world at large, matters.
"When you stop learning, you start dying." -- Albert Einstein
Most of us are familiar with the difficulties in exercising regularly, getting in shape and staying in shape. Many of us are also familiar with the success of achieving our "goal weight" or finishing the race we were training for.
When you exercise regularly, your muscles strengthen and gain endurance.
But what happens when you stop exercising regularly? Do your muscles and physical endurance stay the same? Not at all! They begin to atrophy. When you quit pushing forward, you begin to regress.
Success works the same way.
Either you're moving forward, or you're falling backward. There's no such thing as being stagnant. By striving for success, you're constantly pushing your cognitive faculties.
If you're not seeking to grow continually in at least some area, then, just like your muscles, your brain will begin to diminish. You can apply this principle to yourself, or to any company.
Your success matters because your body, mind and company need continual growth.