While reading Colin Wright’s Considerations, I came across a short sentence that read, “there’s no commonly accepted ranking system, and all a person has is their own interpretation of movement, their own ideas about how much they’ve grown.” Originally I had just highlighted the middle section of the sentence about our own interpretations of growth, and I had left myself a note reading, “growth is naturally movement.” In isolation this sentence speaks to me about our constant evolution through life, and the lenses through which we judge our changes. We see our own growth in a way that is different from the way others see our growth, and in the end, all that matters for us is our interpretation of our personal changes and growth.
Placed back in the context of Wright’s book, the quote speaks to the difficulty of comparing people and success. We all seem to want to grow toward a future that is more successful monetarily, but Wright argues that judging ourselves and others based on our income is a flawed way of gaging success. He writes that we often use awards, recognition, and accolades to judge our value and growth, but the sentence above shows that there is no way to truly equalize and compare our growth and success.
When I look at myself and where I am from a standpoint of growth and movement, from the changes and evolutions I have experienced to what has remained constant or become stronger in my life, I do feel very successful. I can examine the movement in my life and be proud of the changes I have gone through even though I do not have the most impressive salary, have not won many awards, and am not a well known public figure. Wright would argue that I am heading down a useful path where I understand my own interpretation of movement in my life, which will allow me to feel positive about myself as I direct my growth in a direction that aligns with who I truly am and want to be. Chasing growth in certain areas because it is impressive to others would likely not move me in a direction that aligned so well with my internal interpretations of the world.