“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than themselves.” – Joseph Campbell
The older I get, the more it feels like all that really matters in life is being a good person.
Not special or extraordinary, just good.
To me, this means:
Being kind to people. Doing the best I can at work that I love. Being a solid, stable support for others. Doing the right thing. Not doing the wrong thing.
More and more, that’s what “success” looks like, to me:
Solid, basic and simple.
Don’t get me wrong, special and extraordinary can be cool too…
But I can’t truly call it “success” unless it comes with basic, old fashioned goodness.
Think about that for a moment:
By this definition, a friendly janitor could be further along than Connor McGregor.
A single Mom could be further along than your favorite influencer.
And the warm-hearted shop owner down the street who always remembers your name and order could be further along than Bezos and Zuck.
(key term “could be” — I don’t know Connor, Bezos or Zuck personally and they could be great dudes, but it’s a pretty radical thought either way).
Of course, this is just my personal definition of success.
Yours might be different (and I strongly encourage defining what success means to you, rather than adopting popular opinion).
But I will say this:
For me, the people I’ve come to admire the most are not those who tried (or even wanted) to be extraordinary.
(which, make no mistake, is just ego)
Instead, I’ve come to admire the reluctant heroes:
Simple, good people who were called upon to do something extraordinary, and did it, because in their heart it was the right thing to do.
And, maybe (I’m theorizing here, but I think I’m right)…
They never would have been called to do something truly extraordinary unless they were truly good, first.