How do you define success?
I have achieved two major goals recently, and whilst celebrating, I also thought about what else I’ve achieved so far in my life and career, and it got me thinking about how we all define success differently.
What is important to some, doesn’t matter to others, so it is really important to define it on your terms, and ask yourself some punchy questions such as; are you really where you want to be in life right now? Are you clear about your future direction, or are you drifting a bit and feeling stuck on the treadmill? What is it that needs to change so you can live out your dreams? Or are your dreams long gone and buried underneath the layers of modern day life shrouding you? If that’s a yes - we need to talk!
My definition of success comes from being a high achiever on my terms, which includes being a Sony Award Winning Radio Producer, having a Laptop Lifestyle, being mortgage free by 40, having my own Business, falling in love and being loved by a wonderful Pilot living in the French Alps, and last but not least, meeting Morten Harket from the 80’s band A-Ha - oh yes, this one still makes me squeal! Why am I so certain that dreams come true? The evidence is above!
These things may be a million miles away from your definition of success, because for a lot of people money indicates success. However, for me success doesn’t revolve around my earnings. It also comes from doing fulfilling, meaningful work that makes me feel good.
The amount of money I earn has never been a motivator for me, it’s the lifestyle, experiences and memories I have, whilst feeling alive, happy and having fun. I agree money plays its part, but most of these things defining my success cannot be purchased! So what is your definition of success?
However, none of this seemed possible in March 2013, when I thought I had just committed career suicide by being signed off sick with burnout - it was a pretty dark place for a few weeks. Some days it would take all my energy to make a coffee or have a shower, let alone the pain of not being able to drive for a few weeks.
Through the relentless stress, anxiety and insomnia I had been tolerating for years on the treadmill of corporate life, I wonder how my new lifestyle is possible. How did I manage to break free of the shackles and achieve this much?
Every day I pinch myself because I think I’m in my own movie. Is this my life? How the hell did it happen? Of course, I know exactly how it happened…I got clear on how I wanted to my life to look, and I worked on my mindset. I made a plan and was intentional and strategic, I found the courage to make some big decisions and I took risks.
There are lots of answers though, all of which require their own blog post; but in brief:
- I found the courage to leave my job, follow my heart and chase my dreams - like my life depended on it
- Unable to physically, mentally and emotionally to put up with the stress, anxiety, and insomnia of working for someone else ANYMORE, given that I had an inner knowing that I wanted to work for myself for ages
- Dealt with the past and let go of what was holding me back
- A quest of self discovery to unleash who I really am
- Clarity on what I really wanted my life to look like, what I wanted in it, what I didn’t, and how I wanted to feel
- Invested, and found the time, money and effort for myself. I worked on my mindset and energy every day.
- Took lots of risks and continuously moved out of my comfort zone
- Made decisions and took massive action steps
- And last but by no means least - I set goals and made a plan to achieve them. If you think of your life as a road trip, you need a map to get to the destination!
- Never lost faith and always believed in myself and my dreams, and let go of the ‘how’ it was going to happen.
- And the best thing is, it can be you. You can have the life you desire as well. I'm no different to you - a human being with drive, determination who makes decision to move forward in life.
I define success by all of what I’ve achieved so far - this is success to me, the smaller and the larger goals, but I'm interested in what success looks like for you? How do you define it for your life and career? Remember if you are achieving, you are winning, but they have to be your dreams, and no one else’s.
Personally I measure success by what I experience, also by getting rid of the things that don’t bring me joy, or make me happy or make me feel alive and well. I love to be outside, near the beach and the mountains, in amongst nature and flowers. I love to travel, go on adventures, and spend time with the people I love, making memories, and having fun. This isn’t a typical definition of success, but it is mine, and we are all unique wanting to live and experience life fully.
If you are continuously looking outwards to everyone and everything else, wishing that was you, or comparing yourself to someone else - stop! Turn the spotlight on you and get clarity on what you want to achieve and how you want your life to look, in 6 months, 1 year, and 5 years.
Friends and colleagues always said I was very driven and determined, clearly a high achiever, and like to live on the edge. Define your own edge. What are you prepared to do to step out of your comfort zone and live the life that you dream of? What do your friends and colleagues say to you? Where do your talents lie?
You can achieve what you set your mind to, thoughts become things. NEVER lose sight of your dreams, and ALWAYS follow your heart.