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What Have You Achieved?

by Ben Shelley 7 months ago in happiness
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How many mountains do you need to climb?

What Have You Achieved?
Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash

The definition of achievement…a thing done successfully with effort, skill, or courage.

  • Is it something that is personal or something that can be measured by others?
  • A thought or a test?
  • A lifelong commitment or a means by which to get to the end of the day?

Achievement is a word and one that means different things to different people. It is a thought that I bat around my brain each and every year, with different conclusions each time.

Achievement is a never-ending search for something to hold on to. A measuring stick by which to provide clarity to a life well worn.

Never Satisfied

From the outside in I have achieved many things, such as two degrees, successive pay increases and trending articles, but I never feel satisfied. I always feel as though there is something more that can be done in order to push myself further than before.

Writing a thousand words each and every day last year was amazing but how do you top that? By writing a book of course. I plan to write two Kindle books before the end of the year in order to push myself to that next level, but then what? What comes next?

  • Do I continue writing books or shift back to writing platforms?
  • Focus on creating a website for myself and launching my services?

I am grateful and humble for everything that is contained within the confines of my life but I cannot deny that there feels like there is more. It feels as though there is more around the corner and I am not close to being done, which is a great feeling to have.

Measuring Success

This is where achievement can become very subjective and one person’s victory is another’s defeat. It is a difficult thing to discuss as we are all at different points in our life. We have different priorities and considerations, so a singular timeline to share across humanity would be impossible.

For me, I take a quarterly view of what I am looking for and continually move to the finish line. Set my goals each and every quarter to offer achievement, at least in the short term, with one eye on the long term picture. Success for me is fun and hopefully does not come across as an obsession.

Success is a serious consideration and one that I enjoy moving towards, as we only have one life. There is no reset button and whilst there are parts of my life (the debt, the unsuccessful relationships and incorrect jobs) that I’d like to change, they may take me away from today.

I am married, have a stable job, and loving friends and family, alongside an apartment in one of the greatest cities on earth, London. I have a trip to Portragul booked alongside a honeymoon in the summer, elements that create a formula for success.


Writing this article brought to mind a conversation that I had with a friend who was discussing the topic of money. I replied to his thought that if I got to a point in life where I had enough in the bank then I would happily quit, as I’m not greedy.

I work as a means to an end. I do so in order to make a better life for my family and to create a career that can be relied upon to develop transferable skills. If I reached a point where my family was covered and we could retire in peace then I would walk away happy. The reason for this is:

  • I don’t want to be greedy. Jobs are hard to come by
  • I value my health. I want to be able to retire knowing that my body will be able to get through the day and be able to play with my children
  • I want to be a successful writer. For me, retirement should be centred around travelling, my family and my hobbies, the key to which is writing.

Satisfaction is not easy to come by and many days I feel as though I have achieved nothing. I go to bed counting down the minutes until the sun rises and I get another chance at proceedings. I know that life isn’t perfect and the journey to achievement is a long one and this is why patience is key.


Patience is a virtue and one which I have at times, whilst other times I struggle. The older I get the more inclined I am to have a lack of patience. To want to skip to the end of the journey to see if it is worthwhile, whereas in my 20s it felt more relaxed.

Maybe it is having the consideration of a family in my life, the knowledge that time is running out or that I’m jealous of others? Whatever the reason may be, one thing is certain…I enjoy challenging myself and will never quit my journey towards achievement.

A Final Thought

Everything in life is subjective. From the person we vote for to the cereal we eat. Our lives surround us with opportunity, but forget to offer us a map as to the route that we ‘should take’. It is down to us to focus and make sure that we ‘achieve’ everything that we set out to do.

From my point of view, I am looking to constantly evolve and test the waters. To spend time where I feel it will be best spent and avoid areas of procrastination as much as possible. To have patience and look to push forward where there is competition in my brain.

Central to everything written here is the knowledge that I have a limited amount of time in the day and whilst I want to achieve, my wife is more important. My relationship with her is the greatest achievement of my life and whilst I yearn to be successful beyond this, realistically, I don’t need to be.


About the author

Ben Shelley

Someone who has no idea about where their place is in this world, yet for the love of content, must continue writing.

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