What is success?

Okay, before you get all bummed out over this week’s Dustinland, let me just say that I’m not in the midst of some deep depression or anything. This is just something I think about sometimes. You know, usually I try (try being the key word here) to make my comics funny, but once in a while I like to touch on something more serious. I know the depressing stuff is not quite as “entertaining,” but hopefully it touches on something you can relate to.

In terms of this week’s comic, I think what I’m really getting at here is that while it’s very hard to define success, there is some sort of notion we all have of an average life and an extraordinary one, and nobody wants to wind up in that first category. Of course what is considered average in a country like the US would be a fantastic life to a majority of people around the world, or throughout the history of mankind, at least in terms of financial security and quality of life. But somehow that doesn’t necessarily translate to happiness because it’s all relative to what you know, blah blah etc… let’s not get into that boring discussion. Boy this topic really leads to rambling.

I guess I’m not really sure what I’m trying to say here. Maybe I already said it as simply as I could and too many words just complicates it. Maybe it’s just that we all want to be somebody, and the older you get, the more you realize how hard that can be, and how little time you have to do it.


11 responses to “What is success?

  1. Well, everyone has their own definition of success. What one person considers success is a living hell to someone else.

    The way I look at it, if you get to enjoy what you do, whether for work or for your hobbies, then I would consider that successful. What is the point of life after all? Life is to be enjoyed, pure and simple.

    There’s a song by Darius Rucker, who has switched over to country, called “Alright” (sic).

    Some of the lyrics are “I’ve got a roof over my head,
    the woman I love laying in my bed
    And it’s alright, alright
    I’ve got shoes under my feet
    Forever in her eyes staring back at me
    And it’s alright, alright
    And I’ve got all I need
    And it’s alright by me”

    Doing what you enjoy, whether you get paid for it or not, is success. Today for instance, I went to a driving range and crushed 60 golf balls, then played racquetball, hung out with some friends, admired nature and the beautiful weather in Florida, did laundry, then went rollerskating. One of the best days ever. I have a new Marshall amp on the way, a golf clinic tomorrow, a motorcycle class at the Harley dealer starting Thursday and accounting clients lined up 10 deep. Awesome. Success is knowing what you like and following your dreams… imo. It’s kicking ass and taking names, with a genuinely positive attitude, in whatever you do. But I’ve found that belief in God is the foundation of all positive things, and worship and praise and unwavering faith is the key to success in anything.

  2. Happiness =

    Pleasure + Meaning + Weekly Dustinland


  3. Success is the delusion that your achievements are your own rather than luck, gods, genetics or upbringing.

  4. dude…….. all i can say is i feel you so hard on this one……. i’m 30…… two kids…… two different moms…….. but yet im single…… wow if i had seen this coming…..

  5. Darius Rucker?


  6. Go back to school for another degree. And then another one. If you work hard enough you won’t have time to slack off and end up navel gazing.

    Sound enough like a parent figure yet?

  7. I think as Americans we are never happy. We are always trying to be the best. We all want to be the next Bill Gates or whoever. I think we should realize all the good we have in our life and try to figure out how to be happy with out this mythical “success.” I’m not really one to give advice about this though as I always am feeling like this. My thoughts are more along the lines of “OH GOD I HOPE I DON’T GET STUCK HERE THERE ARE BIGGER AND BETTER THINGS AHEAD” Then it turns out that maybe getting stuck and those things that you weren’t sure you wanted were really awesome and if you could go back you would and never let go. The future is the future, it’s nice to make plans, but be happy now before it’s too late. 🙂

  8. Boozey McGehheee

    I usually feel better after several drinks.

  9. Success is an intangible and immeasurable bitch goddess who tangles the carrot at all of us.

    It’s in the process of what we do that we find fulfillment. Whether other people like it or it is deemed profitable is up to the aforementioned bitch.

    P.S. Dustinland rules!

  10. Yes, Birdyfan, I agreee, “Hootie” is usually a big NO in my book too. But it’s just a song, and I took it as constant accumulation of things does not a success one make. And I don’t want a woman in my bed either. Do people still say “No homo?” If so… No homo.

    Here’s different lyrics: “Some people say I’ve done all right for a girl” – ‘Brand New Key’ by Melanie Safka (song from 1971).

    …and Jay-Z: “I don’t want much, fuck I drove every car / Some nice cooked food, some nice clean drawers”

    I think becoming skilled and learning how to do things well is a better barometer of success than making and spending money. For example, a lot of people in NYC (my former hometown) think they’re cool if they can spend money in expensive restaurants… but would that person have the skills to create that same meal themselves? Could they themselves hunt, kill and butcher that steak dinner they ate at Per Se? Likely not… so their only real skill is spending money. Can’t hunt, can’t shoot, can’t butcher. Same thing with going to concerts. People think they’re the shit if they go to Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center, or (now closed) Don Hills or something. When was the last time someone in the audience at Lincoln Center played a musical instrument well? Probably never. Again, their only skill is spending money on tickets to the show. And “art collectors?” When is the last time one of them even drew a stick figure? I dunno, to me, being a success doesn’t seem like spending the whole day gossiping and surfing the internet in a cubicle at Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe, then spending big dough on crap, not reinvesting it in yourself. No thanks.

    Nice comic, in that last panel, if you’re near the Queensborough Bridge looking at the Manhattan skyline, just turn around and you’ll be facing the Queensbridge Houses — North America’s largest public housing complex (projects). One look at that and its occupants and you’ll feel 100x more successful, or you’ll think “I spent upteen years in school to be living near THAT?” and you’ll just feel worse, like how did I end up here? I think a green 1998 Dodge Caravan with plastic faux-chrome wheels and a $2,000 sound system is the official car of the QB projects. All this one here needs is 5% tint on the windows, and it’s ready for Queens: http://images02.olx.com/ui/1/55/47/14724847_1.jpg

  11. Wow, that is some impressive Queensbridge knowledge. Nas, is that you?

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