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What Success Means to Me

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A great deal of people define success as living a life of luxury with brand new expensive vehicles, a big beautiful home and so much money you couldn’t possibly spend it in this lifetime. I’m not one of those persons. I can define success in one word; stability. When you reach a point in your life where all your bills are paid, you have a roof over your head, even if it’s just a small studio apartment, and you’re not worried about where your next meal will come from, I believe you have become successful.

If you’re wondering what is meant by “stability”, I’ll give you an example with my own personal life. From the age of 21 to 36 I was addicted to a drug called crystal meth. I started out just using on the weekends than it gradually became an everyday thing when it started getting too difficult to get out of bed to work Monday morning. After my weekend partying became an addiction, I eventually lost my job at the Stanislaus County Superior Court where I was a legal clerk for a year and a half. Not having a job led to committing crimes such as robbery and selling the drug so I could support my habit. Committing those crimes landed me in jail. My boyfriend at the time, who is now my husband, was court ordered to complete a year program at a recovery house in Manteca. After two months of rehabilitation, he gave me the option of joining him in the program or losing his number. I chose to go to the program and get clean with him. It’s been almost a year since I have completed the program and I now have my own apartment, my husband and I are night managers at a motel and I’m going to school. My rent is paid every month, I can cook a homemade meal every night and I can put gas in my car to get me to places I need to go. That to me is success.

It’s not easy to reach that stable point in your life. You have to put in work to do it. You first have to take a look at your life and decide what circumstances, people or things are in the way of making you a successful person or preventing you from achieving your goals. You have to identify them and make a decision to change those things. For example, let’s say you are working at a job that pays you minimum wage and has no opportunity for any kind of advancement. Your behind on your rent and you live on Top Ramen and peanut butter sandwiches every day. You dread waking up in the morning and you have a bad attitude at the office. This job is making you unhappy. When you realize that and make a decision to change that have done the first step.

The next thing you need to do is start taking the steps necessary to make those changes. On your days off spend those days putting in applications at places you would like to work at or submitting online resumes at various job sites. You can talk to people you meet about ideas on job prospects. It might take you six months or just six days, but if you are persistent you’ll eventually land that job that you want.

Once you have accomplished the first two steps, the last thing you need to do is stay focused, keep a positive attitude and be patient. Being successful and having that stability in your life isn’t going to happen overnight and chances are you won’t realize that you are successful until someone comes around that was in the same position you were in when you were unhappy with that job. Hopefully you can be that person’s inspiration to change their own life.

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