Pairs Well With… “My life is my journey” – Gandhi
Success can mean a million things depending upon who you are, what you value and what part of the globe you live in. Each of us defines success differently, as we should. Success is personal and can be a result of our finest passions. We are judged by others, benchmarked, on what our successes look like, regardless of what makes us happy. Isn’t personal happiness what should matter most?
My view of life today is much less superficial than in my 20’s. There are no longer blinders on, and the moves I make today are filled with purpose and meaning for no one more than myself. Who was I trying to impress all those years with my “roster of fanciness?” I began building my pint-sized empire at an early age until one day I started questioning why. Was it to have four pages of great accomplishments to draw from for a show stopping resume? To impress Mr. Future Husband? Or did I carry some unconscious pressure to be the best? I was achieving things I didn’t care about, and more so, didn’t want. I wasn’t doing my life for me.
I wanted to make changes in a direction that better suited and fulfilled me, but what were those changes? How can you move towards an undefined direction? Life was flourishing for me, but I wanted more. So much more. Then…
(Insert light bulb moment here)
I recalled one of the better pieces of advice I’d been given: “I’m not going to tell you how to live your life, and I know “the next thing” motivates you, but if you’re trying to achieve all the time, you can’t enjoy at the same time.” Point taken. No more mindlessly attending to pieces of my life as a checklist, so that I could have something to cross off. All of it should excite me and make me tick. I learned it is okay to “just be” and be happy at the same time, even without an undefined next step.
Once I took a moment and freed up time to understand what I gravitated towards, I began to feel energized and re-inspired. I picked up writing again after many years, and soon after that, formed Pairs Well With… Once I stopped chasing success and started chasing happiness, that is when great things began to happen again. I was on the right path.
Finding passion and excitement in all that we do is critical. Think about how many days in a year we go about our lives unengaged and uninspired. More than is necessary and, frankly, unhealthy.
To me, success is how much impact you can make in other people’s lives, how many risks you take to chase dreams, and how many lessons you learn because you’re challenging yourself in new ways. Today, I’m on a fantastic, focused and determined path – one that makes me happy.
Once you discover what makes you happy, that’s the biggest form of success. Life is as simple as that.