I want you to have a rich and fulfilling life.
That only happens when you define what success means to you.
Unless you are blessed with an extraordinary degree of certainty and an “I don’t give a damn” disposition, it’s easy to get pulled in different directions when it comes to defining success.
We’re influenced by family, friends, society’s expectations, television commercials, religion, social media….
But it never works to chase someone else’s dream. It’s about as comfortable as trying to wear someone else’s shoes.
It’s a guaranteed path to frustration, burnout, disappointment and health problems.
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”
For many years I ran a business as a single mother.
Typical career advice was never the right fit for me. Well-meaning men with wives that stayed home full time with the kids would tell me how to run my practice.
How to do things to have their version of success.
It was like telling an apple how to be an orange.
I had no interest in a McMansion. I had no interest in setting records or winning awards for the biggest practice in town.
My version of success meant that I soak up every ounce of time with my kids as I could, while helping a lot of people in a medium sized practice.
It could have been tempting for me to get caught up in trying to build something that I didn’t want. What they were selling sounded big, glamorous, and “successful”, but it wasn’t what I wanted.
Stay focused on your dream.
“Stay focused, go after your dreams and keep moving toward your goals.”
LL Cool J
Have you noticed when you are working toward your dream, it doesn’t even feel like work?
When you are working toward your dream, you are invigorated. Your brain is a creating machine that goes into overdrive.
It’s the opposite of burnout.
That’s the key right there.
There’s a lot of overt and covert pressure to have a certain display of success.
It takes guts to define what success means to you. There are constant judgments and distractions.
You are blessed if you realize early what you truly want to work for and stick to your path.
Be honest with yourself about what you really want.
The sooner you do this the better. Hopefully before you get too far down a road that doesn’t interest you.
Be honest with everyone else too.
Let people know boldly and confidently what you are working toward. Don’t be swayed by their opinions.
Your path is your path. You know the answers.
When do I feel my best?
When does my work flow with ease?
Does this path appeal to my ego, or does it bring me joy?
As tempting as it is to yield to the ego, it’s not going to bring you lasting joy and fulfillment.
I can’t say working for my version of success was always easy. I often fell into the trap of feeling torn between my practice and my parenting.
Looking back at those years though, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I helped a lot of people, and I got to participate in tons of things with my kids.
That feels like success to me 😃
As always, I wish you all the best!
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Originally published at medium.com