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What is success?

What is Success? After a fierce head to head campaigning battle in the 2017 general election, I have reflected on what success is. Success used to be winning outright but this year that hasn’t happened. So which of the following was the biggest success? Winning the most votes like the Conservatives? Getting the biggest increase in the polls like Labour? Or have DUP won with just 10 candidates but able to sway a majority?

This is where we must take a step back and evaluate success. Success is always going to be different for different people and more than often you will be harsh on yourself. 

Sometimes it is easy to evaluate success because the outcome is binary - if your aim is to win a football match and you do then this is a success, isn’t it? You could then look deeper into the match and say that the team didn’t actually play very well and didn’t deserve the win, which is then questioning that success.

Personally I hate to admit that I am materialistic and money orientated, but admit it I must. This means I will always assess my own success based on my assets and my wealth. This is very hard to measure as the goal posts move - you can set targets but as soon as you start meeting them you will inevitably raise them – the central theme of modern economics! This then means you don’t feel successful even after surpassing your initial targets, however successful others may view you as. 

Ultimately, success should be synonymous with happiness. Finding what makes you happy, and having a healthy work-life balance will always help you feel better about yourself. Personally any free time I get I like to spend with my friends but a lifetime ambition of mine has always been to travel. Therefore I often look for new places to go so I can take some time to get away from my normal routine.

One thing that working at Edge has certainly taught me is that there is no one definition of success and no one route to success. Live the life that you want and never give up. On a recent Career Footsteps event, bringing professionals into schools, a colleague of mine met a surgeon who had originally failed his exams and only then knuckled down, revised over the summer and retaken with an extinction, rising to be head of a clinical department – his advice to the primary school class:  ’never believe that you can’t do anything’.

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