5 questions to measure success

July 14 2014

I’ve been thinking about the American Dream and how we’ve come to define wealth and achievement. I’m turning 30 soon, a benchmark to pause and reflect on life’s work and progress.

Yet the ways in which I was taught to measure “success” don’t seem to apply to me.

I don’t own a house or a car. What I do own fits into a duffle bag. I sleep under a mosquito net. My savings account is negligible, I have student loans I will probably never be able to pay. I’m unmarried, I have no children. In full disclosure, it’s been awhile since I received a regular paycheck.

According to the American Dream, I’m a complete failure.

It has me wondering if our notion of wealth has become distorted. If the scales we use to determine value and impact are skewed, if we’re asking the wrong questions — both of ourselves of the organizations we trust.

As I enter a new decade, I consider:

Are you helping others?

Are you accomplishing set goals?

Do you feel welcomed into a community? 

Are there people in your life who support you?

Are you learning, getting just a little bit better, more patient, more compassionate, more understanding, more loving each day?

For more on redefining success, wealth and the American Dream, read my original post on Medium.