Succeed: Have I “arrived”? [Part 2]

You may have heard the phrase “I have arrived” being thrown around. Millennials often use the buzz word “arrived” when describing that they’ve made it in life. The journey ends, in a way, when they have “arrived”. It’s another way of describing when you have succeeded in a more ultimate way. The striving is over. 


So how do you know when you have arrived? 


Here’s a few key indicators you have:


  • You may have arrived when you’re so focused on your craft, you’re not looking for the next big thing/way to promote yourself


When I worked with the TEDxIndianapolis team, I learned more about what this meant. While we were looking for our speaker line up one year, our team was advised to look for individuals who are so focused on their own craft, they’re not necessarily looking to speak at a TEDx event. That separates those people from others who are spending less time on their craft or idea, and more time trying to promote themselves. You may have “arrived” when you are so in the flow of doing what you are most passionate about: your craft. Here, you’re not distracted by ego but driven by purpose. 


  • You take criticism and advice from those who are “in the arena” of your work; not allowing yourself to be swayed by anyone


Theodore Roosevelt has this revolutionary quote that attributes great courage to pioneers who are vulnerably doing work in some public form. He says “It’s not the critic who counts… The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena…” It’s a game changer, and you can read the full quote here. You may notice you have arrived when you are choosy about who you take criticism & advice from. No longer from just any critic in the stands watching you gets a say, but those who are in the arena with you. The people who are risking much and being vulnerable with their work as you are, are the ones whose opinion carries weight. 


  • You’re not concerned about arriving, you just want what matters specifically to you


This circles back to  your definition of success. You have arrived when you’re not concerned about trying to arrive. You want to achieve your unique definition of success. A reminder: personal definitions of success are as diverse as people are. What you are striving for may be incredibly different from what your colleagues, friends, and even mentors are striving for. And that’s okay. Stay focused on your unique journey. That focus is arrival. 


  • You’ve achieved what success means for you. 


Which more often than not, is the process of doing your work (not to sound cliche). If you are valuing what you say you value, that is arrival. For example, if you value contentment and are finding contentment in your everyday routine, you have arrived. If you value excellence and do your work with excellence as much as you are able, you have arrived. If you value teamship and are working to create a healthy, dialogical team, you have arrived. 



Success and “arriving” in life are often achieved in myriad ways throughout your career, even paradoxically in failure. Keep an open mind to what success could mean for you. 





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