WHAT IS SUCCESS?

I personally do not necessarily define success as purely monetary. Yes, you can be successful in the traditional sense (money and popularity) like Paul McCartney or Stephen King. But to me, success is how people perceive you. I think I am successful in that regard. I’m not “rich” in the sense that I am rolling in the Benjamin’s or bathing in gold coins or own 10 Lamborghini’s, but I like to think I am very successful in experience. I do not know if that will make sense to you, but it’s my post so if not, screw all of you! I have many people who respect and think very highly of me. To me, that is a better form of success than having gold and riches. I am successful in the sense that I am making a difference in peoples’ lives in Baltimore through my advocacy work. Knowing that I am making a difference by educating as well as entertaining simultaneously is, to me, a huge success. If what I am saying changes someone’s perspective for the better, that is the biggest form of success I could ever ask for. Yes, my advocacy pays—I earn a decent paycheck from it—but even that isn’t the best part. The best part is the fact that I get “paid” in respect and admiration. I am in kind of high demand in the Baltimore area because of my work for the Autism community. Everybody wants me! Whether that is a pro or a con is a debate for another day… I am not being self-centered or arrogant here. Once you experience that much respect, awe and admiration from your peers and colleagues…yeah, maybe it is a little selfish, but goddamn does it feel good! My success is not monetary, at least not yet. I view success in how people think of me and their opinions of me. In that sense, I like to think I am one of the most successful people I know. Again, I do not mean to sound boastful or like I am all that, but I do think my success—at least the way I view it—is partly due to my popularity and how outspoken I am about my diagnosis. An example of this is my self-advocacy speaking position. People hang on to my every word and are responsive to what I have to say. I know there are people who think the world of me out there. What more do I need? Maybe a raise, but we will cross that bridge when we get to it. So I want to hear from you. What is success to you and how do you view it? I look forward to hearing from you and thanks for reading!

-Tom

Author: AuTom Spectrum Blog

I have Autism and am a self-advocate and public speaker. On the side I do stand-up comedy. I live in Baltimore County and have an AMAZING girlfriend

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