What Does It Mean to be Successful?

Stark Raving
4 min readNov 1, 2023

We’re all searching for something without knowing what it means.

Photo by Florian Schmetz on Unsplash

My dream life involves chickens and body painting. Living in a hippy community with a bunch of artistic, chaotic individuals. Being surrounded by people, finding ways to live together. I want to be involved in activist work, skilled at Muay Thai and aerial silks, and writing books and blogs that people read and that have an impact. I have so many dreams and desires, and not just in my professional life.

The thing is since what I want doesn’t really correspond to society’s definition of success, I sometimes feel like I am unambitious. I struggle to find external validation because praise usually comes when you are skipping your way along to a nice house + nice car + nice husband + nice kids + nice salary + nice gadgets.

So it is tricky to stand firm and follow my own definition of success.

Well-Trodden Routes to the ‘Top‘

It’s tempting to follow well-trodden paths because if you go off-road, you never know how far along you are. You have no points of reference. So sometimes, inevitably, you feel a bit lost.

Many people pursue goals that aren’t really their own, because at least then they know where they are going. Sometimes it is easier not to ask if that destination is where you actually want to be.

For a long time, I wouldn’t admit what I actually want from life, even to myself. “I don’t even know what I want,” I would think, except I did really. I just didn’t know it was possible, and I didn’t know that I was allowed to want it.

What if you want to go somewhere else?

This is a call to love yourself and your weird ambitions, to know that when it comes down to it, if you follow them, you will be a happier person and help make the world a better place.

The dreams society has for us are limited and uninspired. They are based on the fact that only a limited number of people can achieve them. They serve society’s interests, by which I do not mean the interests of the “common good”. I mean the interests of the capitalist system in place, which benefits a select few.



Stark Raving

Intersectional feminism and environmental issues. Let’s make the world a kinder, more sustainable place. Support my work! https://starkraving.medium.com/members