Back in 2019, I wrote a blog on how I felt we needed to rethink the ways in which we thought about success, and what that really looked like for us all. To me, the idea of the house, white picket fence, a couple of children and a stable “office career” was what everyone is supposed to aspire towards. But I felt this was a lie we were being fed, and in some ways this is because it wasn’t my own journey, especially as a ( at the time ) a new single parent, restarting my life, changed countries ( again ) and restarted on the career ladder. As, it’s been one of our most popular posts over the years, and it’s been churning in my mind for a few months now, I felt it was time to re-discuss the topic and share some of the new insights I have come across. Have a read.
A negative mind will never give you a positive life.
What has become abundantly clear in the last few years, is that we as a collective have been searching. Be that for new definitions, new meanings, new ways to fill voids, feel fulfilled or to simply enjoy this thing we call life. But, to what means? We have been fed the idea that you need to punch in 40 + hour(s) weeks, in order to pay for the huge house ( you barely spend time in ), drive the flashy car ( you can’t really afford ) and all the while bare through the job which isn’t your passion and doesn’t leave you feeling happy. So what now? You’ve got all the “things” this is surely the equation to happiness…if not what? The huge influx of people taking early retirements, or completely career pivoting or the huge surge in small businesses are a result of people feeling like if not now, then when? We collectively began to reassess the paths we were on and attempt to adjust. People are no longer willing to waste the hours of their lives feeling unhappy, or working under a boss who doesn’t appreciate you or aspiring for a job which only adds stress to your life. The ways in which we are looking at what it means to be successful have changed, this is why we see so many people in loading mode.
More and more people my age are realizing that the dream sold was a con, and the younger generation isn’t falling for it. They are much more emotionally cognizant and mature than I could have been at that age and they aren’t rushing into jobs which they see their parents hating. Be it the moment to live minimalistically, or small, or to simply have a mobile home ( I am genuinely considering this ), all alternatives to the standard- it’s probably in many ways much more fulfilling and authentic. Going back to the basics, because we all know, the stuff we have around our homes means nothing. When we look around at the things which give us value, it’s not the decor which fill the spaces. We all know it’s the people, the memories and the experiences, the job, the status, the bank balance can and never will replace the true connections. Some of the wealthiest people are the unhappiest. But at the end of the day, what does success look like for the average person? I know it all varies per person and let’s face it- success for some are some of the things I listed above and I’m not going to judge that, but I think we can all agree on one thing. The fact that at the end of the day, if we have life, good health, have a stable income stream, have clothing, a refrigerator with food and a roof over our heads and money in our bank account, no matter how small- you are successful. You may not think so or see it that way, but 100% you are. Perception and shifting your focus will do that.
Growth is growth, no matter how small.
Don’t get me wrong, I genuinely struggle with this, because I am always worried about having enough- I don’t want my daughter to struggle, I want to give her every opportunity. But, if I sit back and really think about it and I mean really think about it… Am I successful? Yes, in many many ways; I may have an anemic bank balance and I may worry about money sometimes, but I look around and most definitely feel successful, mostly because I am happy. I look at how far I have come to get me to this point. I think about where I’d like to go and how being content in the now, does nothing to diminish my goals or aspirations, in fact it keeps me motivated. So for me, success is a small win, there are plenty of mini successes in a day, not necessarily one giant dream, this way, it makes it feel a little less overwhelming.