Success Your Way! What does that mean?
Defining success truly is a very personal exercise. So many variables can feed into this. For example, feeling successful may mean you have the time to be there for your kids or aging parents. Or, it may mean you are able to travel to a new destination once a year. It may also incorporate freedom from stress (most of the time) or financial security.
For me, my definition of success really boils down to loving what I’m doing, being able to continue to learn and grow, while maintaining my financial security, and having the time and energy to enjoy my family, animals, friends, colleagues and community.
Each piece of this definition can be further broken down. For example, what does “loving what I’m doing” really mean? Some examples of this are working with passionate business owners who are eager to make changes, so they are living their personal definition of success. It also means inspiring people to be the best version of themselves using unique combinations of people, animals (e.g., group horse programs, animal communication) and nature (e.g., women’s walking retreats).
One of the most difficult parts to implementing your personal definition of success can arise if it doesn’t align with the expectations from the people closest to you or if it is not 100% aligned with what is perceived to be society’s definition of success (e.g., making lots of money).
On my beach walk last week, I encountered an interesting example of living a unique definition of success.
I saw a single gull riding the waves. As he came to shore, he quickly turned around to scoop up some fish. He did this a number of times and it was really cool to see this ride, scoop, eat process unfold! I thought to myself, boy, that looks like fun and the gull is eating very well, too!
A little farther down the beach were a couple of different groups of gulls. Some were bobbing in the water and some were lounging on the beach. To me, none of them seemed as engaged, having as much fun or as well fed as the lone gull I just observed.
As I continued my walk on the beach, it occurred to me that sometimes you have to be courageous to break away from the group and create a new path for success that truly works for you.
What is your definition of success and what will it take for you to be like the lone gull who was successfully living his life on his own terms?
Oh, and don’t feel you have to get this “perfect”, since your definition of success will most likely continue to evolve over time.