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Old 08-14-2017, 09:55 PM   #21
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I can trace the successes in my life back to my choice to be childfree. Because I never wanted to have children, I was able to excel financially, professionally, and personally. This led to my crowning achievement, retiring 9 years ago at age 45.
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Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
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What made us feel truly successful?
Old 08-14-2017, 10:01 PM   #22
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What made us feel truly successful?

Not money, not personal achievements/accomplishments or public recognitions.

It was the day that each of our respective adult sons came to DW & I to thank us for raising them the way we did and for the values we instilled in them.
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Old 08-14-2017, 10:52 PM   #23
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Successes have many times been with an enjoyment but a feeling that this too will pass.

I try simply to prevail in another opportunity to enrich my life and the people around me at least a little bit each day.
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Old 08-15-2017, 12:17 AM   #24
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Interesting question. I could say something financial but in reality it's keeping a very strong relationship with my daughter and current spouse while going through a toxic bitter 15 year divorce. It's the most difficult thing I have ever done.
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Old 08-15-2017, 04:25 AM   #25
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Not money, not personal achievements/accomplishments or public recognitions.

It was the day that each of our respective adult sons came to DW & I to thank us for raising them the way we did and for the values we instilled in them.
Awesome! A truly worthy goal!
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Old 08-15-2017, 04:40 AM   #26
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In one sense, becoming FI.

In another, having people say that they like my photography.
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Old 08-15-2017, 05:01 AM   #27
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I think I have done quite all right, considering my background as a young immigrant who came to this country without any connection, any knowledge of even how the college admission worked. And I got through graduate school in 4-1/2 years, and made enough money to retire early in reasonable comfort.
Same here. Came to this beautiful country in 1984 at age of 19. Worked odd jobs and started college in Jan 1986. Graduated with BS/MS(honors) in Electrical Engg in 3-1/2 years. Landed a job and never looked back. Back home we were so poor that my parents skipped many meals, us kids had bare minimum and two pairs of clothes where one had patches. We were born LBYM...

My greatest achievement was to bring my family to this country and help them settle. Feel satisfied that I made a HUGE diff in their lives and they are all doing well! Every time I see them, I feel good about myself!
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Old 08-15-2017, 05:30 AM   #28
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2 adult DSs, both Eagle Scouts, both college grads, both fully empl*yed . Been with DW for 33 years, will RE at 57 in 4 years. It's all good.
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Old 08-15-2017, 05:31 AM   #29
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I did well in my career and was viewed as top management worthy but I always felt like I was one step ahead of the sheriff. Stuff always seemed to fall in my bag. I think it was a combination of high, but not stellar, smarts and an engaged and positive attitude. Still, it seemed to me there were a lot of more talented people around me who could easily take my place. The factor that seemed to make the biggest difference for me and for about half the others who did as well or better was attitude. I remember seeing a movie titled, "The Extra Step," in my new employee orientation session in the government and took it to heart. I always counseled employees who wanted career advice that being that person who stepped up to the plate without being asked counts for a lot.
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Old 08-15-2017, 05:38 AM   #30
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I'm in. I did it my way.

All my life I did as much as I could of what I wanted to do and the least amount possible of what other people wanted me to do.

You could call me a lifetime "slacker"

In college I soon found that there were 2 ways to go;
1) Study hard to get the best grades possible
2) Study as little as possible to still get out while maximizing "party time"
I graduated with a Electrical Engineering degree and a 2.4 3.6 GPA.

My work experience was similar.
I learned that management was not for me, a complete waste of time. I was am very good at what I did do and I did the absolute minimum required I work just enough to fulfill my job duties. Came in late and left early. Retired with millions at 59.

You only have a limited amount of life. Live it your way!
+1. Sorry to blatantly copy your repose but this has been my life (more or less) so far. Successful is a relative term like lot of things in life. If you feel that you are successful then you are. I am certainly successful to have lived life exactly the way I want and with the people I care about.
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Old 08-15-2017, 06:32 AM   #31
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I have never felt on top of the word or being successful. However I do feel blessed and fortunate what life has given me. And this is why>>>>

If there is a food in your fridge, you have shoes and clothes, you have bed and a roof, you are richer then 75% of the people in the world.

If you have a bank account, money in your wallet and some coins in the money-box, you belong to the 8% of the people on the world, who are well-to-do.
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Old 08-15-2017, 06:36 AM   #32
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The factor that seemed to make the biggest difference for me and for about half the others who did as well or better was attitude. I remember seeing a movie titled, "The Extra Step," in my new employee orientation session in the government and took it to heart. I always counseled employees who wanted career advice that being that person who stepped up to the plate without being asked counts for a lot.
Agree with this. Attitude is very important. Always taking the management view while being able to tactfully speak your mind to your bosses will go a long way.

I often hear statements like " I was very good at my job but couldn't stand the meetings and BS and only did the minimum to survive" seem at odds to me.
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:06 AM   #33
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Realizing I didn't need to worry about things like being considered successful.
.


I know this attitude is the right answer for me -eventually- but I am still in the management mode that Danmar described above, requiring a success attitude with my 11 staff and savvy gamesmanship when managing up. I can't exactly start wearing shorts and a t-shirt everyday to the office and I don't want to. I mostly enjoy this job in a large nonprofit and feel that it contributes to community, so "meaning" is there. I hope that once I quit in a few years after benefiting from decades of progressive responsibility, I will have the luxury of not worrying about further achievement and can focus more on DW me and where and how we want to spend the day. And, ideally, we'll let go of the instinctual climbing and our success navigating hierarchies that, when I'm honest, funded our ability to finally let go of them.
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:22 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by street View Post
I have never felt on top of the word or being successful. However I do feel blessed and fortunate what life has given me. And this is why>>>>

If there is a food in your fridge, you have shoes and clothes, you have bed and a roof, you are richer then 75% of the people in the world.

If you have a bank account, money in your wallet and some coins in the money-box, you belong to the 8% of the people on the world, who are well-to-do.
This is something as Americans we forget or never realize. We have clean water, sorry except for Flint, MI, bombs are not going off outside our homes, grocery stores with an abundance of food and affordable foods. Many homeless are offered a place to stay but choose not to stay there. I know this from working with them in my earlier years. I've not traveled to these countries, but think of India, Africa, parts of Asia...seriously we are so fortunate here.
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:55 AM   #35
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I'm not really in love with the term "success" or "successful". Most people here retired early because they had some success in their workplace (or maybe were just lucky). Many of us have made impressions on other people by mentoring them or just believing in them. I personally do not feel that is something that I need to feel or reflect on. However I do like it when people mention they are "blessed". That's what I feel I am.

I did love the comment about the sons coming back and telling them the parents raised them the best they could. In different ways both my boys came back and said I wasn't the idiot they thought I was. As they mature and go through the same things we did it all of the sudden becomes clearer to them how life works.

Outside of that I am just really grateful.
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:00 AM   #36
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I know I have made a difference in many people's lives, because they tell me. It makes me feel successful knowing I have helped make their journeys in life a little easier.
+1

My wife very much appreciates our life together. While some of my kids have not accomplished what I wanted them to accomplish, I am thankful that they are on track to accomplish something, and are now expressing appreciation for both the "soft" and "tough" love I had displayed towards them.

Several times I have run into adults that I worked with in some way, shape or fashion when they were young, and am shocked at how much they appreciate the little things I did (or did not do) and how they felt it mad them successful.

Those things make me feel more of a "success" than the many successful projects and dozens of monetary awards and trips Megacorp has awarded me over the years.
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:16 AM   #37
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To me the ultimate success was making it to relative ER. The small ones along the years were not getting killed doing the various endeavors I was involved in.

Ten years in retirement to me is truly a success, hoping for at least another ten to cap it off.
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:18 AM   #38
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When I was 22 I would have defined "success" as having a high-power career, accumulating enough to be FI and traveling to interesting places.

Career: finishing the actuarial exams a BIG success but I was 30. No time to rest on my laurels. Never hit the C-suite, never got beyond VP, but enjoyed what I did, worked with a lot of smart people (still friends with many) and got to more places on the company dime than I ever expected.

FI: Yeah, I got that. Partly luck, partly good decisions.

Travel: heck, yeah. Posting this from on-board WiFi on IcelandAir; added 3 new countries to my list this year (Greenland, Costa Rica, Panama).

Unexpected:

Family. Finally decided I wanted kids at 30, married and had DS at 31, divorced at 44, remarried at 50, widowed at 63 last year after a very happy marriage. I'm a grandmother!

Spiritual: finally found a group of kindred spirits at age 38 after 20 years outside of organized religion. They've been a source of sustenance through the changes in my life. Even met second DH in a Bible Study group.

I don't know if I'd feel "successful" if any of those components were missing. My life has had twists and turns that haven't been part of my siblings; lives- they'e more traditional, married to original spouses, not as much into travel, had kids earlier- but I wouldn't have done it any other way.
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:35 AM   #39
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Success?
DW and I are completely happy with our long lives.

Could not ask for more.
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:36 AM   #40
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Very simple for me- I always had a terrible case of the Sunday blues. This black cloud would descend on me because I had to go back to work on Monday. When I ER'd at 52 (15 years ago) this black cloud finally lifted and I felt wonderful! Successful? yes!
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