Why We Need To Redefine Success

Nicholle Kobi

Success, we all want it, we all work and strive for “it” and so much so, we’ve been taught this from a very young age. R1’s daughter recently began school, this got her thinking; in 10 years time what would success look like for her? I know, we can in no way predict the future and to be fair this isn’t the point of this blog post. Whether from a young age or not, most people have an idea of what they would like their lives to be like 10, 20 or maybe even 30 years later. Close your eyes, what does that will look like for you? A nice house? A stable and successful career? No debt? Do you see yourself happy because of these things? Let’s dig deep and weigh up, what does success really look like?

You are what you do, not what what you say you’ll do.

Whether it’s maturity or mercury being in retrograde, we’re not sure, but the way success is defined has been on our minds a lot lately. You can’t escape it, more and more people are stressed out and overworked, but what are we all doing it for? For Insta likes? So we can compete with Kylie? Like what is it all for? For the longest time, we’ve always thought that success meant stability. Having a nice house, a job you enjoy or can tolerate, which pays the bills and be debt free. Of course, all while cooking Martha Stewart like dinners, retaining our shape, beauty and whits 😸. I’m fairly sure that most of us don’t visualize to simply be happy and by happy we mean in the present. After all, we’re not conditioned to think that way and especially not in our current social climate. Everything needs to be attained with speed, the value of time and working slowly and steadily towards a goal has lost its value. We’re all aiming or striving to be overnight successes…

Henn Kim

If you were to ask us, what do we want for R1’s daughter, R2’s niece, at the end of the day- it would be for her to be happy. Not the surface level happy, but a deep happiness in herself and in the life she will create for herself. We’re not bothered about what she will do for a living, don’t care who she will choose to love (as long as it’s consensual), we simply want her to be happy and live the life she wants. This can be mirrored by pretty much all parents and loved ones, we all just want our kids to be happy. But the issue or hang up for us is how we live our lives as an example to her in the years in between. How do I show her, in my own life how to be happy and successful? Because at 33 and 22, we know that it’s not with a wardrobe full of designer gear, hell it’s not with a wardrobe full of cheap gear either. We know that it’s not about how much we get paid in our job, it’s not in the amount of money in our bank accounts. At 33 and 22, we know it’s the love we have for ourselves and the love we have and give to others. It’s in the experiences you share and memories made with family and friends. I know that success for me is knowing that I am loved and accepted. Truly loved and accepted. Yet, despite that, we fail ourselves and our children when we choose to fill the in-between years with endless amounts of external things; toys, devices, expensive clothing…but, the odd thing is, we already know that this, in the end, will NOT fulfil us or them. So…why do we do it?

Work on you, for you….

Sanaa K

How do we have children and then proceed to push them to be the best. Higher. Faster. Harder. All while knowing that at the end of the day, 50-60 years down the line, it will not actually matter at all. Yes, you may be proud of your achievements and yes you may break records and push the bar up and forward. But what would it of all been for if you aren’t a nice person? If you elbowed and trampled everyone out of the way to get said achievements? What is it all for if at the end of the day you aren’t happy or content? We’re not saying we all sing Kum ba yah and do nothing, not saying that having a goal and a target isn’t a good thing. Trust us, we’re list makers- nothing gets us excited than making a good goal list. What we’re saying is that if our main goals are solely based on the material, ignoring emotional successes and simply at our core being happy for the basics; being alive, being healthy, having all the means and things that we do have. Only then will the bigger successes come to us, because at the end of the day and at our core we are successful because we love our lives and being alive.


From our experience with discussing what success means to ourselves and to the people around us, no one person had the same clear-cut definition of what it meant to them. Success is not something that we can put our finger on and say; “hey THAT’S what success means”. We all go through different journeys in this life we have been given and there is no way of determining whether your definition of success will bring us joy, happiness and strength. Success to us is being able to smile about the little things, the things that causes us to stop, think and be grateful for what we have. Maybe success really just means being successful within oneself. Simple.

Update: May 23rd, 2020: As most of us are quarantined at home, with a lot more time to think and reassess our lives and actually face some of the things we simply didn’t have time for or didn’t make the time. It’s become ever more obvious that the things we believed/thought we NEEDED to get by, are no longer as important. Many people are getting back to the basics and reassessing the rat race we were all caught up in and I can only see this as a great thing! This pause, is the very idea we were thinking about when we wrote and published this blog post over 1 year ago. What changes, if any, has the pandemic triggered for you?

What are your thoughts on what it means to be successful? Do you agree with some of the points we mentioned above? Let us know!

Illustrations: Nicholle Kobi, Henn Kim, Sanäa K


2 responses to “Why We Need To Redefine Success”

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