“Very difficult to define…but I think with time,I can say my measure of success is the appreciation you get and the recognition you get from the people around you for the things you are doing. For me that’s my measure of success” – Achieng’
Success can be determined by the society one lives in. Recognition in terms of awards, are some ways in which one is able to keep track of their progress or lack of. This is highly characteristic of fields where the competition is high.
“If I am trying to develop myself, I should not do it individually and actually that is [where] the idea of working with community came in. I did not want people just to see trees in my homestead. I wanted them to see trees in the locality and a visitor coming would want to ask…how come there are many species of trees…then of course somebody will start telling the story.” – Margaret
A majority of the women interviewed displayed altruism through the nature of their work. Success is not necessarily personal but can be a shared among several individuals.
“Success for me is [pause] engaging in activities, in things that stimulate you and leave you feeling satisfied because you have done things that you’re passionate about… People drive me and I am passionate about people’s success which is part of my success.” – Njeri
When asked to talk about their work, be it farming, architecture, etc., the women displayed an enjoyment in the fields they had chosen to pursue. Love of particular work makes it less like work and more like an activity that builds the person. Growth in this way can be described as success.
“[pause] If you had asked me that question last year, I would have a different answer. For me right now, success is…is that ability to bring something new and good to an other.” – Yvonne
Success evolves. Once certain goals are achieved, others are set in place and this creates a new search for success.
“…Loving my children, educating them and making sure that they all go to school. That is my life. I have raised my children. My joy comes from that.” – Justina
Success can also be achieved through one’s children. For some of the women, their dreams were realized when their children succeeded in something they themselves did not. Education is one of these areas.
How do you define success?