Quotes to Redefine Success

success quotes

You all know that I love good quotes. Last week, after sharing thoughts about needing a financial reframe, I got to thinking about how I define success. What does success mean to me? What are the things in life that really matter to me?

After all, I don’t care about “keeping up with the Joneses” and their nice new car; I don’t even have a car. But I do care about have freedom of my own schedule. So, as I’m working to redefine success in my life, I found some quotes to keep inspiring me.

“How we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard

Success, to me, is all about having the most opportunity possible to do the things that we love. If we spend most of our hours doing things that we don’t love, then we don’t have a life that we love. This quote reminds me to consider that regularly when I redefine success.

“Create. Not for the money. Not for the fame. Not for the recognition. But for the pure joy of creating something and sharing it.”  – Ernest Barbaric

Creativity is important to me. I believe in working as much creativity into our lives as possible, not just in the form of making art but in terms of approaching things with creative thinking. That said, I have a creative career. This is an important reminder to me that I can define success not by how the career is going (money/recognition) but instead by whether or not I created something each day.

“How to tell them I didn’t give a flying f–k how it was doing in the marketplace, that what I cared about was how it was doing in the reader’s heart?” – Stephen King

Again, this about defining success when you’re working in a creative career. I’ve always tried to put my own writing out there as authentically as possible. I think of all of the times that someone’s words, unbeknownst to them, resonated with me at just the right time and changed my life. If I can do that just once for one person, I’ve succeeded.

“When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat that doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me,
And I shall spend my pension
on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals,
and say we’ve no money for butter.” – Jenny Joseph

I love this whimsical poem. In it the author also says that perhaps she should do some of these things now. I want to live lavishly in the now, not by being wasteful but by avoiding penny-pinching at the expense of joy. In other words, although I don’t need satin sandals, if a pair would truly, truly give me joy, then it might be worth skipping the butter this week to afford them. This could potentially be a successful life, much more so than never indulging at all.

“For it matters not, how much we own/ The cars…the house…the cash. What matters is how we live and love/ And how we spend our dash.” – Linda Ellis

The dash refers to the dash between birth and death dates. The whole poem is about loving more and living fully. Ultimately, this is what success means to me. It’s about spending the hours and days and the whole entire dash living as aligned with my values as possible, doing what I love with those I love.

What does success mean to you?

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