For writing, for me, I feel successful (mostly). People (strangers even) buy my books, read them and for the most part, rave about them. It makes me feel good to know something I wrote touched them in some way. Then I get into the many pitch contests, enter, hold my breath, and wait. In the end, nothing comes out of it. No agents knocking on my door, no offers of contracts, BUT I have usually made a new "friend" or two, and have some great solid writing advice to learn from. So is that a failure? Maybe, since I'm still holding out for a contract... lol, or would you say it's a success? Overall, I like to think of it as a success. It's getting my name out there, it's persevering to make each little 140 character pitch the best it can be, it's trying over and over again.
Then I look at my housework. Total failure. The ironing is staring at me RIGHT NOW begging for a warm iron. The floors are in desperate need of a vacuuming and wash but I can't be bothered. Overall though, I keep my house pretty neat and tidy and clean. But the jury's still out on success or failure with that one. However, come back on a Sunday when I spend all day cleaning it... ;)
And parenting - ugg, the Olympic Gold Medal of success and failure.
I see all these posts on FB - proud parents showing off their happy little "perfect" children doing all these amazing feats, and if you're like me, you wonder how you measure up. Staring at their rah-rah-watch-me-parent-awesomely posts and pictures, I feel like a total failure. Really? Your child's played the tuba since he was one? Skipped two grades in school. Mine walked at 14 months, talked at three. So it would seem like I'm a failure.
But I can't measure myself against them, and I refuse to anymore. They have different goals than I do (obviously). What's considered a real measure of success? I don't know, but for me at the end of the day, I'm the last face my kids want to see, the last person they want to talk to, the last person to hug goodnight. When something good in their world happens, they burst at the seams telling me. When their world collapses, they know I'll be there to catch them and get them back on their feet. How can that be a failure?
So today, don't put someone else's definition of success on you. Do what makes YOU feel successful.
And PS - I need to hear some good news, so please tell me something wonderful that happened to you today!