“I have lots of things to prove to myself. One is that I can live my life fearlessly.” – Oprah Winfrey.
Since starting the podcast over the last few months it has sparked a number of conversations with friends and people about what success actually means. It is such a simple question, but it evokes different emotional responses in all of us and has caused plenty of healthy debate! The text book definition of success is “The accomplishment of an aim or purpose” and many people agree the old versions of success were aligned heavily to achieving money and power.
Everyone has to define success for themselves, but I do believe strongly that in life it is important to pursing our own versions of success, whatever that may be. One thing that has struck me about every person I have interviewed is that absolutely NO-ONE is winging it through life! There is no … ‘let’s just go with the flow and see where we end up!’. There is clarity and purpose whether it is an adventurer cycling around the world, an entrepreneur building a company or an athlete aiming for a medal. They all have their own versions of success to strive towards.
This process has made me take more time out get clarity on what success really means to me. I had a dramatic shift in my own beliefs on success in my mid 20’s (one good reason to move into your thirties!). In my younger days success was more about external recognition for traditional standards of success. The challenge was finding my identity and worthiness outside of myself was energy sapping process and I never really felt fulfilled. I made a decision that I would never allow that to happen again and even tattooed an expression in Latin on my ribs which continually reminds me to trust in my inner compass. Maybe a bit extreme, but fancied the tattoo! 🙂
So now this is what success means to me…
1. I am in the pursuit of worthy goals and dreams that come from my core:
This process of researching the book is really fun. It has taken a lot more out of me than expected and I have had to find another level of discipline than I have ever had before! But I am finding it such a fulfilling experience chasing one of my dreams. The journey is definitely one to be enjoyed and pursuing something that matters to me.
2. I am experiencing life to the full with people I care about:
About 4 or 5 years ago I set up my bucket list. I wanted to make sure I lived as hard as I could. Go hard or go home as they say! (Hence I am writing this after a big night out). The bucket list has made me start to focus on scheduling time for things away from the treadmill of life, making time for experiences especially with people I care about. So far I have completed 27 out of 85 and have travelled much more extensively as a result and just feel like a more rounded person. It’s less about the list and more about making sure we take time out to live!
3. I am continually growing as a person
The third and final thing is about growth. I judge myself regularly whether I am pushing myself living at the edge of my ability. I don’t want to sit on the fence! We have all been there at times where you get a bit too attached to the Netflix box sets (Orange is the New Black is a killer! I nailed all series in a few weeks). I am not against taking time out for entertainment at all, and very excited when the latest series launched in June. But what I am more interested is pushing myself to find out what I am capable of, and I won’t find that out without challenging myself continuously.
So enough about me. I would love to hear what success means to you?
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