I asked what my friends on Facebook thought success was the other day. I really enjoyed seeing their individual thoughts and common themes that surfaced, so, at the encouragement of one of the responders, I’m chiming in my two cents blog-style.
For me, it’s easy to kinda get all philosophical and preachy with a question like this. I mean, it’s easy to create an opinion on such a thing from what I think other people think it is. Because then it’s not personal… ya know? If I’m presenting an opinion about what I think other people think, then with any criticism or disagreement, the critique will be obliged to go talk to the people who think that way. Me on the other hand, safe and sound, arms folded, feeling pretty smart. Pretty counter productive for a life coach, lemme just point out. Also, hypocritical. But I digress. I think I like to digress. And there I go again. Ok, back to success.
In retrospect, I’ve secretly thought I’ll be successful when I have a certain amount of cash flow. As if I’ll be successful when I can put a big dollar value on my life. Wow. Where does that train of thought take you? I’ve been on that train, and it didn’t really feel like success to me. (Grant it, I was placing personal value on the dollars. And visa versa. You, perhaps, are measuring goals by dollars which is a very different thing. Money is pretty nice though. I like it. You can do a lot of cool stuff with it.) Another example of what I’ve imagined success was was if a relationship turned out the way I expected. What would that Danielle think of this Danielle. *smile* I guess I’ll never know. Yet a third example of what I thought success was was perfect performance in a job. whomp, whomp, whomp…
Each time these things proved to be unconnected with the emotions of lasting delight, joy, passion, and authentic connection I desired, I was disappointed. When I was disappointed, I felt betrayed. When I felt betrayed, I felt like life and God had dealt me an unfair hand and that He/She/They had better fix it because what else was there to do. So, then I felt entitled. Pretty bratty if you ask me now. Pretty damn victim.
What do I think true success is now? When, at the end of the day, I take responsibility for all my choices and be at rest, enjoy my own company to the fullest, be brave and vulnerable with the people around me (and myself- self denial is a sneaky neural pathway,) and intentionally create and design each moment to have more joy, more love then there was the moment before, I am successful.
So, maybe success is really a state of being instead of a tangible, objective thing. As several people pointed out in the comments on my FB page, it can look different for all of us because as much as we are the same, we are different. My favourite paradox.
This doesn’t mean I’ll never feel all those old feelings that lead me in a victim mentality. I know I’m feeling them less and less though. The reason for this? I have hope I can and will change, and learn, and grow. Repeat. I have hope you can and will too. So, get out there and be a success. You’re a pretty awesome egg. By the way, what came first, the chicken or the egg? Does it matter?
It is an honour to be on this journey. I invite you to join! If you'd like to contribute to my pursuit of living full out and inspiring of others to do the same, I welcome your gifts of prayer, good vibes, finances, and love. Shalom, Danielle