Defined as the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. This word used to drive me, the constant attainment of degrees, certifications, and at some level stuff. As I entered my forties I started to reevaluate what success was for me apart from the societal prescriptions I had adopted without questioning them.
Defining Success for Myself
As I started to explore what success was for me, I was living the corporate American dream. I started my day dressed in business attire and traveling an hour to an hour and half each way, into Houston to pay for parking and take an elevator 6 flights up to my cube. While I tried to make the most of these two to three hours on the road with calls and audio books it was time I began to feel could be better leveraged.
One day I placed a picture of a LIFE IS GOOD post card, I had received with a t-shirt purchase on my dream board. The dream was to be able to work from home at least three days in my comfy LIFE IS GOOD t-shirts and add the six to nine hours of travel time back into my life in a new way. When I put this on my dream board I did not see a possible path to it and in many ways forgot it was there.
Fast forward two years, I was working from my home office in my LIFE IS GOOD t-shirt and had forgotten all about placing this desire on my dream board. I happened to look up thinking I needed to freshen the board up and my eye went right to the postcard I had placed there a couple of years ago. The feeling that overcame me caused my eyes to tear up and goose bumps to find a home all over as gratitude flooded through my whole being. In that very moment, I could feel “success”. It was real and not fleeting like so many other moments I had achieved in the past that I would normally rattle off when I was listing my successes for a bio, resume or some other measure of my worth. Something shifted in me at that very moment.
The Joy of Success Realized
I immediately pulled down over a dozen other dreams I had realized since I had placed them on my dream board. It was an exhilarating hour to sit in deep gratitude in the relishing of this new reality. Each time I found myself perplexed at the simple inquiry about why I had not noticed the realizations of these before now. They had just come into being, no fanfare and no celebration. For a moment, I felt a bit of shame for not having realized them as they came. I let that feeling move through me and continued to be in awe of this amazing inventory of “successes”.
Since this wonderful unfolding of awareness and blessings, I have and continue to evolve my personal definition of success and the new definitions continue to manifest at a very rapid pace. These successes require hard work, sacrifice and often a high tolerance for risk. That said I have found that the resources and resilience I have needed are always available when the success I am seeking is defined around my true path and does not rely on societies measure of success for me.
Starting YOUR Success Journey
The first place to start is too document the ways you define success today. After each definition simple answer the question WHY? You will find that for many of them you can not explain why without addressing someone else’s definition. This is the beginning of testing each of them and if they are yours. It will take a bi,t and if you are like me, you will hold on to many that you are unsure if you can or should let go of.
The second step is to ask yourself why you feel you can’t or shouldn’t let a definition of your success go. This is not easy and when it is done with a deep desire to know you and your path it will cause frustration and fear will ride shotgun. Be easy with yourself, let is sit until you can come back to it, keep asking the next question. You will find that you will truly align with a few of the measures you have been operating under, however many will need to be shed. You do not need to shed them all at once, it is a true evolution. I am still redefining mine after over a decade of this intense and most rewarding work.
Some inquiries to get you going, ENJOY the journey!
How do you measure success in this short time you have here on earth?
What is your true heart’s desire? Have you aligned your definition of success with it?
Remember you do not need to see the path to “your” success today, it will unfold with your commitment and continued action towards it, some will come into your reality as though it always was. This is when you can be affirmed you are on YOUR path.
Soul to Soul,