Health, Wellbeing, Happiness

How do you define success?

How do you define success?

Some people define it by how many degrees they get, or how high they climb in their career, or how much money they earn, or how big their house is, or how many cars they have, or how flash their boat is.  Some people are caught up in ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’ and have a materialistic basis for defining success.  Others might gauge success by how far they can run or how fit or slim they can get.   There are many different ways that people may define success.  I am not knocking these things – these are all great things to achieve, some of which I aspire to as well, but none of them are what I personally believe equals the true essence of success.

I used to think that I was not successful unless: I could climb the corporate ladder in my career and earn as much money as I could whilst of course doing a perfectly excellent job of it, and – at the same time juggle all the demands of motherhood (trying to actually be present for my kids); run a house and keep it clean and in perfect order; help out on school committee’s; be a good friend to all my friends; be super organised by fitting in daily exercise and cooking and eating healthy meals; fitting in with everyone; pleasing everyone; and being liked by everyone + much, much more.  I set very high expectations for myself.  I am a perfectionist – my own worst enemy at times!  I had set myself up to fail.  I am not super human.  How can anyone sustain trying to be everything to everyone whilst juggling so many things and having such high expectations of oneself?  I was way off track in how I defined success.

As you can see by my blog, things have changed.  I am slowing down to smell the roses.  Never again will I change or adapt who I am in order to fit in or be liked – even if it means I lose some friends along the way.  Never again will I take on more than I can handle just to please others (including myself!).  I am learning my limitations and I’m learning to say NO.

I very much adore Maya Angelou.  She is a beautiful and wise soul.  I agree wholeheartedly with her quote pictured above.

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it” 

…and this is what I am aiming for.

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7 replies »

  1. I also love Maya Angelou. I think success is being happy in life. With who you are and what you have. The bumpy curve balls are out there…I guess resilience is also part of success.

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    • Hi Lydia – thanks for your comment! I agree – it’s being happy with who you are, what you have and happy in your life. There are always going to be those bumps in the road and yes learning how to manage those bumps is all part of the journey of life.

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  2. Such a wise soul. I’ve been caught up in the rat race, being a working full time mum is bloody hard work. I’m so glad I decided to stay home after I had my daughter, our life has changed immensely. Our whole outlook is different, it really is nice to slow down and smell the roses.
    Prue x

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    • Thank you Prue! I stayed home with the kids when they were babies. Tried going back to casual work when the boys were 15 months – didn’t work. Then decided not till they were all at school. I did do some work from home now and then but went back to full time work when MissM was in Grade 1. While it was nice to have adult time and adult conversation and progress in my career – it was a very hard juggling act over many, many years and some things suffered as a result. It’s lovely now to slow down and smell the roses. xo

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  3. As you know I’m in the midst of my first break from my working life since it started over 20 years ago (other than a month off here or there for a long holiday).

    As I’ve always been single my focus has always been about being self-sufficient, saving to buy property, pay the mortgage etc. I guess now – though not well off by any means – I’m able to reap the rewards from 20 years of working and have a few months for me. (Which is nice!)

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    • Deb – you have done so well … and you SO deserve this career break to think about yourself and indulge in all the things you love to do. It’s good now that you’re moved and settled – you’ll be able to get yourself into a nice routine 🙂

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