How Do You Define Success For Yourself — Follow Your Passion or Make Money?

Sometimes we forget that there’s no requirement to live the life society, our friends, or even our family demands. There isn’t one narrow path towards success; success is how you define it.

Monetary success isn’t the only type of success there is. We’re not all lucky enough to have a passion that society rewards with large sums of money. But that doesn’t mean it’s not valuable.

Teachers, artists, writers, firefighters, police officers, social workers, etc. usually make less money than many other careers, but very few people would argue that they don’t add something to society.

Life is short. Should we really spend the bulk of it doing tasks that don’t give us life but deplete us of it? Is following our passions and dreams wise monetarily?

Maybe not. But do you really want your life defined by a digital number in a bank account? So many people chase dreams that were never theirs just so they can buy the big house, the fancy cars, and other luxuries society tells us makes us worthy, that equate success.

And yet, the same career is sucking us dry with demanding hours so that we don’t even have time to enjoy the luxuries, spend time with our kids or our spouse, or enjoy life because something that was never even our passion has consumed our life. If that’s the definition of success, I think I’ll happily stay a failure.

Sometimes we forget that the only requirement we have is to live a life of OUR choosing.

Let me know what you think in the comments. Links to my poetry books can be found in the menu.



  1. I like this post, Justin. I’ve always thought that human values are upside down when they prize money over kindness, compassion, and generosity of spirit. We only get this ONE life. We don’t get another try. We don’t get a do-over. So it’s absolutely critical (to me) that we spend as much time as possible doing what we love, for ourselves and for others. ❤


    • Completely agree. But even knowing that, it’s still so hard to find against social norms and do that. I think of something as simple as a stained shirt or pants. The clothing could be almost brand new and functional but the image is now tarnished. We are now expected to throw out the item still performing its function–to keep us warm or cover our bodies–and buy a replacement which means more hours of labor. This is just one of countless examples that lock people into jobs they hate, negativity, and keep them from pursuing something they really love all for the sake of appearance for people we probably don’t know or may never meet again in our ONE life. It’s pretty silly when you think about it, but I’m just as guilty of it.

      Liked by 1 person

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