Measures of success

Measures of success

Something interesting happened when I started writing this blog. At first, it was just about putting thoughts in writing to get more clarity about myself and developing the discipline to do so regularly. As I went along, I started wondering what it took for people to want to pay attention to my blog.

This led me to research SEO for blogging, and there was plenty of advice such as finding your target audience, using the right keywords, writing comprehensive articles on a certain topic, promoting your blog on social media, etc.

However, as I read these advice, I realized that these were things I might do if I really wanted my blog to gain popularity.

This desire to excel is a trait that has been ingrained in me since young, due to societal narratives and parental influence. Asian culture is known to have high expectations of children to study hard and do well academically. When these children grow up and start work, they are evaluated based on their job success and income against peers.

A natural result of this intense comparison is the desire to want to excel, which permeates almost every endeavour. Success is an arbitrary measure based on how well you fare monetarily or in terms of societal rankings or titles against others. Nothing wrong with that, but what happens for those who don’t want (or can’t) live up to those expectations? Most likely, they will be thought of as ‘failures’.

Having experienced both attempting to fit into this conventional mould, and also falling far short of it, I feel like I am still bound by some of the educational conditioning I received.

Hence, when I started blogging, I inevitably started thinking about how to push the boundaries beyond just writing for my own pleasure (and maybe a handful of readers who may appreciate my musings).

At this point, if I were to be honest with myself, the goal is just to be able to verbalize my thoughts and gain internal clarity. It seemed like too much work to have to worry about doing all the optimizations needed to make my blog more ‘popular’. For now, I just want to enjoy the creative process, write freely and see where this takes me – not worrying about how many readers I have visiting my blog. Yet at times, it is hard to break away from my conditioning so I expect I will still encounter this internal struggle from time to time.   

Maybe this shift towards doing things I enjoy, rather than wanting to succeed based on conventional measures,  is a harbinger of the future I want to design for myself. What it is exactly remains a journey of exploration…

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