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The Definition of Success

Success story

For most of my adult life, I had a successful banking career. After growing tired of the rat race, I left 20 years in the financial industry behind and went back to college to pursue my teaching degree in 2006. I started my student teaching in Egypt during the first uprising in 2011. I graduated during the summer of the same year and have worked in my local school district since.

But, what do I really have to show for all of these accomplishments? I’m now 42. My children have grown up with other people while I worked. I’ve sacrificed an untold number of memories and my dreams to live the “successful” life. You know the one….the good job, the decent salary. All in the name of paying the bills. Perhaps you’ve lived the “successful” life, too.

I’ve come to realize that what I considered success for most of my life was just doing what I thought was the right thing to do.

Lately, I’ve felt a gnawing emptiness. I feel I’ve let my years pass by meaninglessly. I’m back in an apartment, living on a Teaching Assistant’s salary, with little feeling of value at my school (which is common for educators), and an urgent sense that I need to do something different. Something that makes me feel alive.  Success is different for everyone.  For me, it means whatever makes my soul sing.  I’ve done what I was supposed to do.  Now, I will care for my soul.

I think I will try my hand at being a writer and other creative “stuff”. After all, it’s been my lifelong dream. And, what good is life if we haven’t been true to ourselves? As Wayne Dyer says…..Don’t die with your music still in you.

Life…..here I come!

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David says May 25, 2013

I worked for 22 years in a corporate environment where I was not permitted or not inspired nor encouraged to think of new ideas, but to think like a manufacturer and keep greasing the wheels to keep things moving as they are. I have been a musician and creative person all my life but had to experience nearly 50 years of life to find my journey now has given me the abilities to create a new concept in music education. I started a small business in 2010 of music teaching but a combination of formal teaching fundamentals in a real world musical experience of the setting of a music coffee house. This setting allows me to engulf students in an INSPIRATIONAL atmosphere of music mentoring. My teachers have the ability and license to think of any way possible to plant the seed of excitement and power of music into any student and nurture that seed to its full growth potential…perhaps into the next musical prodigy or simply the happiest kid in school because he was shown what the gift and power of music can do for the confidence and fulfillment of one’s life. It’s a place of community, sharing, collaboration and confidence building, not through competition but through the sheer Experience of Music!

It has taken me 50 years of my life to find out I had this power within myself. I would like to try my best to help others discover it much sooner.

Thanks for your positive thoughts and for leading me to this community of sharing the same.

    Kim Saeed says May 30, 2013


    I prepared a reply for you a few days ago, but it appears that it didn’t go through. Darn.

    First, thank you for your kind and thoughtful words. I think a lot of people in the corporate environment have those feelings of emptiness that you and I had, but most people are too afraid to do anything different. I am very happy for your success! I wish I lived closer to your area because I would DEFINITELY enroll my son in your music summer camp. He plays the acoustic guitar and trombone in his high school band.

    By the way, last summer, I worked for a financial institution in their training department. I was responsible for training all the new hires and for development of existing staff. They shared the same philosophy of “no inspiration, no new ideas”. It was “be the machine, or be nothing”. Obviously, I didn’t last long there. They literally detested any new ideas I had for the organization. I was simply too forward-thinking for the female CEO and supervisor of HR. I gues to them I was the equivalent of one of those hyper ankle dogs who runs around snorting and panting all day in a state of sheer glee 🙂 Ha ha.

    I wish you continued success!


    Kim Raya

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