It doesn’t take long before we understand the limitations of that career arc. The closer you get to the top, the more crowded things become. The road to success isn’t even a road — it’s a bottleneck of toll booths, weeding out people as the pack moves forward. (Asphalt vs Dirt by Corey Vilhauer)

I got off the paved road a while ago, it just didn’t seem worth it. Because things other than what my culture dictates as success is what makes me feel successful. But it isn’t always easy.

We have a tendency to view disagreement as judgment: if she doesn’t follow my lead in switching to value-based pricing, or building a Yeoman-dependent development process, she’s saying that my choice to do so was foolish and dumb and I should go live in a cave. Well, no. She’s not saying that. It’s not a zero-sum game. (Pastry Box, February 9, by Eileen Webb)

This whole piece is fantastic. We need to be gentler, not just with ourselves, but with others when we describe the things we value in life and in our work.

“The idea that working longer equals working smarter or creating more value is completely false,” he said. “The most forward thinking and successful companies are realizing that giving employees more time to be creative and connected to other things besides their job creates a better and more productive employee. Ryan just had the courage to go and do that.” (At some start-ups, Friday is so casual that it’s not even a workday)

These companies are attempting to define business success as something other than how its been defined previously, especially in Silicon Valley and Start Up Land. This article strikes a chord because it points out to me just how different those two definitions of success are and just how rare it is to see a company trying to define it differently.

Success. That word just keeps coming back at me in the last few months, how it’s defined, and how people use it. These three pieces are just from the last few weeks, but this topic has been in my head for months.

And here’s the thing: we all define success differently. That word, what it means for us to be successful in our lives, it varies based on all the experiences we’ve had in life so far. And I just wish, when someone else is talking about what success looks like for them, we could remember that last part, even if it’s unspoken.

Because, to be honest, I’m so tired of swimming up stream and pushing against the notions of success that I don’t relate to, but the culture around me is pushing down my throat. And I’m tired of people questioning how I define it because they don’t relate to my definition. Because, really, it’s my definition and you relating to it shouldn’t really matter.