I have a straight to the point question for you today: What does success look like to you? If you had to visualize your ideal lifestyle, what would it entail? Many of us want “it” but do we know exactly what that “it” is that we’re striving for? Or are we hoping we can recognize “it” when “it” arrives?
Before we can start our journey to success, it’s essential that we have an idea of what the success we are striving for looks like. It’s, also, important to realize that my definition of success and “living well” may be totally different from yours – and that is okay! To one person living well may mean traveling around the world, and to another it may mean having more time to devote to an artistic pursuit.
So what does success look like to you? When you ask yourself what it means to “live well,” what is your answer? It can be a difficult concept to fully embrace because there are beliefs that have become part of who you are.
For example, you might have been brought up with the belief that success takes hard work – long days, short (if any) vacation and lots of sacrifice. I can truly relate to that. My parents and grandparents instilled in me a very strong work ethic – you go on your job, give 200% and you’ll be rewarded – with raises, promotions, and recognition. They, for the most part, worked for vacations and, eventually, retirement. When you envision living well, it may conflict with that belief. I know it did for me. I had an “ah-ha” moment and realized that if I was going to give my prime years to an organization, then why not sow that hard work into something I was building for myself and for my family.
Examine Your Beliefs
To fully embrace what success looks like to you and to create your future, it’s important to examine your beliefs. Do you believe that living well means possessing luxury items like a new car and a large home, or do you believe that living well means being able to spend more time at home and less time at work? How do your beliefs support your vision and how do they hinder it?
As you examine your beliefs, ask yourself why you believe something to be true. You may discover that you’ve held onto a belief only because you never thought to question it.
Write It Down
Take some time to create a vision for your future. You might start by closing your eyes and imagining an ideal day where you spend your time pursuing your passions and living a simpler life. Once you have that idea in your head, it’s a good idea to write it down. As you document your vision for your future, it will start to take shape. You’ll have ideas about what you need to eliminate from your life and what steps you need to take to move forward.
Embrace What You Have
Often when we look to a new life and a new vision of success, it entails acquiring things. It’s important, before you take any steps to add more to your life, to assess what you already possess. Take a look at your personal belongings as well as your personal attributes. Chances are, you already have what you need to take significant steps toward a better future. You have the skills and knowledge. You have the enthusiasm. A life well lived often starts by appreciating what you already have.
Again, I ask:
What does success look like to you?