A few years ago, I made the decision to leave the corporate environment and I can remember telling my Aunt Donna that I had to get off of the hamster wheel. I felt like I was just going through the same motions every day. I was caught up in this cycle of doing more, giving more, being more. When I looked at my education, job title, salary, and lifestyle, I had ticked off most of the boxes of things I was taught signaled success. However, I rarely felt successful.
I have come to know that we, as exhausted, unrested, unsettled people—need to redefine success dramatically. If we rest, we feel lazy. If we set boundaries, we feel guilty. If we aren’t constantly striving for more, we feel unworthy.
I don’t believe that success is a destination. There is no end point that we can achieve. It’s not outside of ourselves. Success is creating a life that you love. Not a life that’s about tolerating or pushing through until we reach this predetermined achievement that we are supposed to want. Success is based on how much you enjoy the process of doing the things in your life. What do you fill your day with? Do you enjoy those things? After all, the process makes up ninety-nine percent of your life. The results are what they are but the process…that’s how we spend our days, months, and years. I think that’s what really matters.
Seeing success in this way may mean you don’t work overtime, you don’t take the promotion, and you don’t buy the fancy car. Success is about pressing the pause button, taking a step back, and asking yourself, "what do I REALLY want?" Once you start exploring what gives you joy, makes you smile, or fills you with gratitude, success can be an ongoing experience of living your life.