How do you define success? I am sure every individual has a different understanding and visual of their own. Surprising, isn’t it – that one word can conjure up such varied pictures in different peoples’ minds.
When I was younger, I always had this image in my head of a successful woman – a crisply ironed smart dress, wonderful heels, smart bag and cool aviators on a fit, beautiful person. You all know the ladies I am talking about – right? The decision makers, the go-getters, the world-changers & of course the ones who get their names in newspapers, magazines and the like…..
The only formula that I knew to attain this figure of perfection was hard work. So, I got down to it – nose on the grind, ignoring the various small victories and forgetting to ‘smell the roses’ as they say. I had eyes only for the big picture. The sacrifices that friends and family made somehow didn’t come into the equation at all.
The first distraction was the sons’ entry – he diluted the goal a little bit. Somehow the focus was shifted a bit to him rather than the visual. Surprising really that what a tiny human being can achieve without trying at all. 🙂
The second distraction was middle age – as I lost the shine and veneer of youth, there was introspection and questioning. Do I need to have the same goals as I had before? Or was I brave enough to accept that I needed to set new goals? Was I brave enough to allow myself to be defined without a career? Could I accept that not bringing in money would not make me a lesser person?
And of course the final ingredient to the mix was that I got a bit of religion – it changed the perspective on its head. It made me define need and want, identify excess and requirement and generally made me more contented.
So what does success mean for me now? Any day when I am happy that I have met my targets of housework, exercise, clean eating and not snapping at anybody. So much different from earlier – right? Not that I don’t feel a pang of regret sometimes but sanity and sense prevails.
Not to say that I regret the single-minded pursuit of my goal in my earlier days. Neither do I regret giving it up now. Life really gives us strange twists and turns. Never would have guessed that what was so important to me some years ago would become so insignificant now.
How has it been for you? What does success mean? Has it changed? Would love to know…..