Happy Monday peeps! How has the first half of your day been so far?
The dictionary defines success as ‘the accomplishment of an aim or purpose’, which seems straight forward enough to me. So why do we get so mixed up about it?
See I’ve always seen success as that thing I will get once I moved countries, got married, bought a flat, finished my postgraduate and made lots and lots of money. Funny when I did most of them I didn’t feel successful, especially when the qualification didn’t bring me the fulfillment I was looking for. Go figure! The things didn’t bring me joy but a sense of OMG! I need to work really, really hard to keep from losing it, which is really stressful.
See I got caught up in the what I think success ‘should look like’ game instead of, what success really means to me. Now I haven’t figured it all out but I thought I would share what I know, like I know, like I know 😉
- The trappings of success i.e. shoes, bags, big homes and designer clothing are nice to own, they just aren’t nice when they own you. In other words, if you’re working your butt off in a job that makes you miserable to have a particular lifestyle, that isn’t success. That is torture because you won’t be able to enjoy any of it. Trust me if I was given a Chanel bag or a Burberry trench coat, best believe I will say thank you and wear it. What I won’t do is let it define me as a person.
- After awhile the things that gave you the feelings of success and happiness, will fade and you will soon be looking for the next thing to make you feel like a success. When I say things, what I’m really saying is material stuff. A bit like what Bob Marley said ‘if it takes money to be happy, your search will never end’.
- What makes me feel successful will be different from what makes JK Rowling feel successful. Perhaps success for her is knowing that she no longer has to worry about providing for her family financially. For me it’s knowing that I did my best with a post and it helped someone (hopefully!). For someone suffering from anxiety, success is making it through the day without having a panic attack.
- Finally, working in a job that was only meant to be a pit stop and trying to make it into a fixture, because it looks good, will make you have regret. Believe you me I did this for a number of years. Now I’ve taken the leap of leaving my 9 to 5 gig, minus the safety net of another job, which is scarily exciting, to pursue content creation. Now, I get to create the kind of career that I define as successful and that is priceless. Don’t get me wrong I learned a lot from my previous job but, now in my 30’s I’m thinking I would have been here a lot sooner had I not been caught up in the things or fearful. But you live and you learn.
All in all, you get to define what success is for you. Not the media, your parents, your boss or that celebrity you admire. We can get inspiration from other people most certainly, but it shouldn’t be a case of wanting what they have because that made them successful. No siree! Choose what you desire and make up your own definition of success.
Let me know in the comments what your definition of success is.
Until next time, be well
photography by Lisa