Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.

– Maya Angelou

I’ve been thinking a lot about what success looks like to me and this was one of the definitions that resonated.

I don’t know Angelou’s context or what she meant exactly. But my takeaway is this: success is having the power of choice.

It also means that success is subjective. Succeeding by one person’s standard, may not be your version of success.

Getting to the top of the corporate ladder may be your friend’s desire but for you, even thinking about being there makes you chafe.

Perhaps someone else wants to retire at 30, but you can’t imagine a life without work.

Thinking about it this way may make it seem like success is easy, but it isn’t. Not all of us have real choices.

Our lives are the product of our circumstances and experiences. But there’s one thing that we will always have a choice over.

We can choose how to act.

We can choose to behave in a way that makes ourselves easier to like. We can choose to find meaning in our work, eventually developing a liking for it. We can choose to do our work well.

It’s not always easy. But conquering our lesser self, and emerging better than we used to be. Perhaps that’s success.

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