Freckles in April: How Do You Define Success?

Monday, June 1, 2015

How Do You Define Success?

Every once in a while I participate in the Wednesday #altchat on Twitter. Last Wednesday they posted this quote and asked the question, "What is your definition of success? How do you measure it?"

A photo posted by @altsummit on

It's kind of rare that a Twitter chat provokes much navel-gazing but I've been thinking about it ever since.

In terms of my blog, I've always measured my success in terms of numbers and growth because that just seems logical. But, the thing is, my blog hasn't grown in over two years (I pulled up my media kit from 2 years ago and I could still use it today. My numbers are almost exactly the same). So, by that measure, I am actually unsuccessful.

But over the past two years I've posted a lot of content that I'm proud of. I've made and deepened friendships within my blogging community. I've contributed to other blogs and websites. I don't feel unsuccessful unless I start thinking in terms of numbers.

As I thought about this I realized that I get to define what success means for me not just in blogging but in all areas of my life and I was a little surprised when I realized WHAT, exactly, makes me feel successful.

As the general manager of our household I've realized that I feel the most successful when I look back at my day and I've used my time wisely and gotten a lot accomplished. The most important thing, though, is going to bed with a clean kitchen. I feel like I have failed at life if my kitchen is a wreck when I go to bed.

As a mom I feel most successful when I've made sure the kids have done their chores and homework and, if at some point during the day, I have made them laugh really hard. A successful day with the baby is measured by how many times I have smooched the living daylights out of her cheeks (I honestly doubt there is a more kissed baby anywhere)

Unplugging and staying away from my phone and computer makes me feel super successful, even if I haven't really accomplished anything else.

How do you define success for yourself? When do you feel the most successful?


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  1. This post could not have come at a more perfect time for me. I literally just ranted to a friend about not termed successful enough in the blogging world based on other people's standards. It's so hard, I feel like I've figured out my definition of success for myself in some areas, but this blogging one hasn't gotten any easier.

  2. Thank you so much for blogging. I have been a long time reader (I found you via Everyday Reading). I love your honesty and the beauty in your words. I'm glad you feel successful, because you rock!

  3. Amen. I think redefining success when your metrics only/always indicate that you're failing is so important. I've done similar things with my blog in the last couple years -- moved from posting every single damn day to posting more rarely, but with meatier topics. I'm quite happy with it (and yeah my media kit has probably deteriorated in he process).

  4. I also found this post very timely. I try to remember by my perception of my success fluctuates constantly. Last week, I had a few huge wins at work. I was getting compliments and feeling pretty awesome. This week, different project crashed and burned and I am feeling like a failure.

    Then this morning, my sweet 2-year-old gave me an unsolicited kiss and all the rest of it melted away.


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