Success markers ...
I think that as a society we focus too much on arbitrary benchmarks of success. We insta-judge our (and each other's) lives by such a short checklist ...
Are you married?
Do you have kids?
Are you smart?
Are you thin?
Are you beautiful?
Are you rich?
Are you famous?
... and if the answer is "no" then there's something wrong.
Not that I think that everyone feels the need to check every box. And of course, I recognize that these are not bad things to want for yourself. But how many people do you know who constantly obsess about needing to be thinner? About needing to get married? How many people spend years of their lives trying to find their way into the spotlight? And how many thousands of dollars are spent on cosmetic surgery every year? And every person who spends so much time and money obsessing over these goals always talks about how they're doing it so they feel better about themselves.
Now I'm all for success. I like pushing myself, and of course I want my life to have meaning. But who says that meaning has to be so narrowly defined? Who says that we need any of the above in order to feel good about ourselves?
I call it all nonsense. And as of now I am going to stop defining myself by my "standardized" success markers.