How do you measure success?

angieHow do YOU measure your own success?  Does it have to do with the balance in your bank account?  Do you measure yourself against others?  Are you waiting for your kids to succeed in order to confirm that you were successful?  Or maybe you need to recognized by your peers to know you are successful.  Yesterday I sat down with Angie Azur, and we batted that question around a bit.

Angie is a writer.  She is a mom of two boys, a wife AND a writer.  The question of success came about when we began discussing her current projects.  She has penned several young adult novels, one is with a publisher in “revisions” the others are still making the rounds at various publishers.  She has written articles which have been published in magazines.  She is also working on a screenplay and a reality show treatment.  She explained that the world of writing and publishing is a hard nut to crack and, as a writer, you have to be thick-skinned to deal with all of the letters of rejection that arrive in the mailbox. That’s why I brought up the question of success.  I marveled at Angie’s ability to persevere with her goals in light of the fact that she has been focused and working hard for at least 5 years without getting one of her books published.  Turns out, Angie is tougher than she looks.

I met Angie through my blog.  She was kind enough to reach out to me by commenting on my blog.  In her comment she mentioned that she writes a blog as well: Angie’s Politically Incorrect Advice.  Of course, I took a look.  I was fascinated by her words and surprised to find that she focuses writing novels for young adults- her website with synopsis of her books is: www.teazurs.com.  When we finally met, I saw a fellow mom who seemed as sweet and easy going as the day is long.  Appearances can be decieiving.  Yes, she is kind and easy going; but, below that sweet exterior is a intelligent and fearless girl who broke away from her abusive background, to follow her dreams of a better life.

She is the oldest of four children born to parent’s who were/are extremely traditional.  By her own account her father was an alcoholic, abusive and prejudice man.  Her mother was submissive and lacked the courage to stand up to her dad when he was mistreating the kids. By the age of 5, Angie vividly remembers making a decision to live out her life differently than her parents.  Growing up in a small town, Big Beaver, PA, she knew she would need to focus and education and independence to order to break free of her situation.  She joined the junior fire dept. when she was only 14 years old and by the time she was 16 she was a full fledged member of the local fire department.  At 18 years of age, she moved out of her home and attended a junior college where she met her husband, Bryan.  She and Bryan were marrried by the time she was 23 and with his encouragement, she went back to school to earn her degree in Psychology.  Currently, she is working on a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing.

Thus far, I would argue that Angie has been a huge success.  She has moved on from her past, found peace and happiness with her husband and children and is close to completing her Master’s Degree.   Almost every day, she takes time to write.  And the part I love is that she isn’t waiting for a confirmation from anyone that she is good enough to keep plugging away.  She writes because she loves writing.  Part of the reason her story is important to share with others is that she has committed a great deal of time to her writing and has yet to get a book published.  Yet, she hasn’t given up!  If you have a dream or a goal that isn’t fulfilled right away, do you give up?  I believe in Angie.  But I don’t think that matters to her.  What matters most is that SHE believes in herself.  Be inspired by her perseverance and believe in yourself no matter what it is that you are wanting to do: it may take some time to come to fruition.

6 thoughts on “How do you measure success?

  1. Pingback: Measuring success | Therapy Notes

  2. Hi Kristen,
    Great article, thanks! It was right on time as I was thinking about my own success and that of my clients. As a therapist it is easy for me (most of the time) to see perserverance and dedication to a goal or dream is success in and of itself but as a writer and business owner it can be easy to lose sight of that in my own life. Thanks for the perspective and inspiring my own post on measuring success. http://grouptherapyassociates.org/blog/2009/10/02/measuring-success/

  3. Great article Kristen. It is so true that we should all measure our own success with how WE feel about what WE are doing and not how ANYONE else feels about it! If you like to write, WRITE, if you like to draw, DRAW etc. ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY!!!

  4. I would have to say that Angie is already a success. I think it is wonderful that she keeps writing. Has she looked into self publishing? There are so many ways to get your work published these days, I actually think traditional publishers may be on the way out. Good Luck and don’t give up!

  5. What a sweet post. I think success can mean a positive attitude despite what life throws at you and not giving up. I’m about to be unemployed after 16 years, and I wonder where I will find my success next, but what is most important is to take risks and push myself beyond my comfort zone. Getting past fear and smiling about it can make all the difference.

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