I had my ex ask me recently why, me the one with the college degree is "not as successful" as he, a convicted felon...
I, however, while I don't consider my current situation ideal (who does, really), I don't deem my life unsuccessful to this point. I may not make as much money as he does, but I made the decision to have a baby 19 years ago in lieu of grad school, which my BA in Theatre required me to have in order to do anything with it. I have chosen over the years to take perhaps lesser paying jobs that allowed me to A) be closer to home so that I could spend more time with my family and B) allowed me the flexibility of being able to take time off for things I needed to do for my family. While living in Chicago, surely I could have found a much higher paying admin job in the city than the one I had. But by the time I was done paying for the commute and everything else, coupled with the fact I'd never have seen Stephanie it wasn't even an option for me.
I've been in the working pool for 27 years now and I have never been fired, never been released, laid off or anything of the kind. I have left all of my - count them - 8 jobs during those 27 years - on excellent terms with excellent references following me to the next job. I had a boss at a company in Chicago give me $300 a month out of his pocket so that I wouldn't have to get a second job. He didn't want me exhausted coming to work every day (or not showing up at all). Surely if I wasn't a worthwhile employee to begin with he wouldn't have cared let alone been so generous with me. And, to me, that's what I strive to do in my life. Money is necessary, sure, but I'd rather be happy doing what I'm doing than make more money and be miserable.
So, it got me thinking - what do you define as being a success? Is it a set amount of money? Does money figure into the equation at all? If you had a long, happy, fruitful life and lived it out on a shack, hanging ten on Maui would that be success to you?