Exactly one week ago, my debut novel (In the Cards) was released into the world with some fanfare (mostly by my friends and me…LOL). This milestone sits pretty high on my life’s list. Certainly not up there with my marriage or the birth of my kids, but definitely above my JD/MBA graduation.
That said, by December 10th life had already returned to the norm: laundry, groceries, homework checks, and preparing for the upcoming celebrations (my daughter’s birthday today, and Christmas next week). So at the end of the day, after a few years of work and many months of anticipation, nothing about my life is any different than it was on December 8th other than the fact that I am now a published author. A distinction which makes a material difference only to me.
It makes me realize how critical it is that the goals we pursue matter to us, because frankly, they won’t matter much to anyone else. Yes, family and friends will support and encourage you, they’ll be proud when you announce your success, but then they’ll return their attention to the pressing matters and goals in their own lives. So if you’re chasing after something solely to please someone else, stop, because you will probably not be very satisfied once it is accomplished, and will have wasted a lot of time pursuing the wrong thing.
I wish I had learned this lesson at twenty instead of nearly fifty…but better late than never, I suppose. Now I preach this to my kids and hope that they choose goals for which they have great passion. That makes the journey as much fun as any accomplishment and, to me, is the ultimate definition of success.