I've been reading a lot of posts lately about how we define success and it really got me thinking. I have to admit that I rather surprised myself when I thought about how I have measured my own achievements.
Ten years ago I would have said that one's level of success was based on how much one earns. Having a certain standard of living was important, a 'keeping up with the Jones's' kind of thing. I thought I had everything I had ever wanted, and on paper I did - but I wasn't happy. Three years ago, just getting up in the morning (or at all) was a successful day. Not being hungover was a bonus.
Today, my attitude to success has changed dramatically. Before I thought it meant being 'big': making a name for yourself, having thousands of followers on social media, world domination. But I realised that this is not who I am. I'm not an extrovert or assertive and I'm certainly far too lazy for world domination! I feel a bit disgruntled that it's taken me until my forties to work this out but, hey, better late than never.
I also thought it meant everything coming together at once to form one big picture and that that was the end of it: happiness achieved. Now, though, I've learnt that this is not how it works. News flash! There is no one goal. There is no end game. Having everything does not make one happy, happiness comes from being content with what you have. I'm learning to appreciate small, every day successes which contribute to an overall feeling of contentment.
I am not financially wealthy by any means and I probably never will be but I am doing ok. I have a lovely home, a job I enjoy, two adorable fur-babies and great friends whom I love. Most importantly, I have time to appreciate these things now that I'm not striving for that unattainable pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. That is my biggest success.
I am as close to being in my happy place as I ever have been but that doesn't mean I should stop. To paraphrase Alfred D. Souza, happiness is not a destination, it is the means by which we travel. There are still things I want to achieve (which I'll address in Part II) but I'm not going to stress it too much. For now I'm just going to enjoy the journey.
(Stay tuned for part II where I'll be exploring the power of positive thinking!)