I could be the smartest person in the world, and there will always be somebody not as smart, or talented, or inspired as me who is more successful. For whatever value of success I care to choose, I may be the hardest working person in the world, and there will be others who are more successful than me.
The reverse is also true – I will be more successful than some people who are smarter or harder-working than me. Just by being born in Canada I already won the life lottery. What I do with it after that is up to me.
I believe making good choices and working hard are prerequisite to success. I can’t take advantages of the opportunities when they come along if I don’t make good choices and word hard . But that doesn’t mean they’ll come. I can’t control what opportunities come, or even if they’ll come. No matter how deserving I think I am.
Does this mean I should give up? No. It means I design my life a different way. Instead of measuring myself against others, I get to do the hard work of figuring out what I want for myself. Instead of collecting things, I get to connect to people. Instead of time controlling time me, I get to decide how to use my time.
…and if one day I am the best in the world at something, then I’ll count myself very lucky. In the meantime I’m going to design a happy life, connected to people, with a healthy parts of compassion, prosperity, joy, and dignity. If I achieve that, I will count myself very lucky.
That, for me, is success.