Back in Acapulco, out of thirty boys in my elementary school classroom, only fifteen made it to adulthood. At least 50% were killed in this violence-ridden city. Surviving this environment made me a successful person in my neighborhood.
In my late teens, I was able to finish high school, that put me in the 10% of teenagers from my neighborhood that got a high school diploma. Once again, that made me a successful person.
Then came the time to emigrate to the US, illegally, and I made it through the cold southernmost point of the border. It was January, 1992. It was raining and the smuggler told us to take our clothes out, we would put them in a plastic bag and would hold it above our heads while we walked through the wetlands west of San Ysidro, CA. The mud was cold, with little pieces of ice getting between my toes. I wanted to get caught, it was so cold, but the Border Patrol had their hands full already with some other people they had caught. So, I made a successful crossing.
In the US, I enrolled in ELS classes to learn English, starting from the Kinder Garden level and subsequently advancing until I got my GED diploma. Once again, that made me a successful person.
After 20 years in the US, I’m a US citizen, I have a steady job that I’ve held for 17 years, I’m a homeowner, receive rental income, have a car, own a website and a blog and have a nice family. Seems to be that all the ingredients are there to consider myself a successful person as some people says it. Really? Is this how success is measured?
There are several public figures that many of us consider successful, we look up to them and wish we could attain some of the things they’ve achieved. But, it happens to be that their personal lives are a mess. Domestic violence, drug abuse, sex scandals, you name it. Still, they are successful in what they do. Right?
Then, what does it mean to be successful? Can you be successful in one area but fail in others and still be considered a successful person? My personal life is not perfect but I strive to be successful in all areas of my life.
The way I see it, success is the sum of achievements, goals that we accomplish during our life time, whether small or big.
How would you define success?