Webster doesn’t know everything. Some words can’t be defined by a dictionary. Rather they are defined by our values, ethos, and principles. We asked hidden gems from the community about how they define success and have shared their responses below.

Jake West | Art Goblin

A lot of things about this career drive me crazy but I think when I’m at my most neurotic is when I start to define success in any real way. I understand why it is important for certain personality types to have solid metrics that they can point to and have touchstones for showing progress but I’m way too obsessive for that. I’ve been fortunate to check off some milestones that I thought would mean I’d feel successful but while effort and accomplishment can lead to a feeling of success, I think success rarely leads to true contentment, which is really what I’m focused on lately. If we base success on our current American metric of the more you work the more successful you are, Sisyphus is the ultimate success story, right? He pushes the boulder all day, every day but he has nothing to show for it and I doubt he’s happy. Read more>>

Anna Johnson, MSW & Nelsonya Bradley, BSW | Social Worker & Owner’s of a Non-Profit

We at Raising King’s and Queen’s defines success as, when the targeted population are receiving the services they need to thrive in life! We hope to render to more than just a couple families a month. Our success is measured by the impact we have on our families, by helping single parents identify resources. In return being a single parent will become less of a stressor and not as much of a struggle. Read more>>

Carmela Mays | Business Owner

For me defining success can be tricky because success is a continuum. It is ever-moving and always in motion. I don’t think success can be defined as a destination or a place where you arrive. I think the only logical way that success can be defined is how well you adjust to the journey it takes to get where you’re destined to be. Waking up everyday, feeling good about the choices you make, looking over the decisions you’ve made in the past, and deciding, not determining, that those decisions were in your best interests at the time, and that they created a path towards you being the best you you can be are all instruments that when used properly, create a narrative of success. Michelle Obama wrote my favorite quote about success in her autobiography Becoming. “Success isn’t about how your life looks to others. It’s about how it feels to you. We realized that being successful isn’t about being impressive, it’s about being inspired,” she wrote, “That’s what it means to be true to yourself.” I second that notion. Read more>>

Emma Senecal | Dancer

Success looks different for everyone, so in my opinion there is not an actual definition of success. You can set goals and accomplish them, but you are always going to be working towards another goal. Some people associate success with money and others with getting the dream job. It really depends on your mindset and how you approach accomplishing your goals. I think this makes our connotation of success unobtainable. We tend to put this false image in our heads of what success is and think that our lives’ will not be worthy if that purpose is not met. You do not have to be famous and have tons of money to be successful. I do believe that everyone has a specific and unique path that the Lord has finely tuned. This means that not one single persons’ journey is going to look like the next, making comparison such a dangerous road to walk. We are so fixed on achieving someone else’s definition of success that we often fail to recognize our own, especially when it is right in front of our faces. Read more>>

Quiana Elliott | Content Creator

Success is continuous and not a final destination. It’s a step by step process that requires patience and confidence that you can meet the goals you have set for yourself. Sometimes you may experience challenges but you learn from it and keep going as it’s all a part of the process. As long I am creating content that other people enjoy and can learn from while continuing to follow my plan for growing my platform, I know I am successful. Read more>>

R3AL | Artist, Songwriter & Entreprenuer

The way I define success is through progress. To me it doesn’t matter how big or small the progress may be. If you made steps forward and not backwards you’re successful. Read more>>

SunRhé Colón | Singer/Songwriter

I think success is relative to the individual artist. Amy Winehouse said in an interview once that her ideal career would consist of her simply living where she wanted, and making music on her own time, with full creative freedom. I related to that sentiment a lot because I don’t necessarily want immense fame or fortune surrounding my art. Personally, I feel I am actively living my version of success. People have expressed a love and appreciation for what I create; I’ve been able to support myself and live comfortably with a career in music; I have access to an array of resources to strengthen my abilities. All I’ve ever wanted as an artist was for my voice to be heard, and to inspire someone with my art. There are a lot of stigmas around what it means to be successful, and the first thing that comes to mind is typically money or tangible rewards. Read more>>