Success or Sucks-ess?
So let’s face it, as beautiful as Mother Nature is being in many parts of the world with her colours of golden, orange and 50 shades of burnt, we are also entering into shorter days. The mornings are darker and night seems to fall before our keys are sliding into the intricate mazes that make up the locks of the front doors of our homes. How do we keep our daydreams of success alive? And what is success exactly? For me, it’s really important to take some time out and define what success means on an individual level, then map that out with our relationships, personal and professional, so we are on a path that is supportive of the person we are. Otherwise, success just turns into sucks-ess.
For me, success is equated to freedom. My lifestyle is definitely not for everyone. As many people see it as exciting and abundant it’s also balanced out with a healthy dose of nay-sayers whispering about me not being in a traditional family unit. But here’s the thing - a traditional family unit feels pretty suffocating to me. And it’s not because I don’t like kids, quite the opposite is true. It’s because I like a lot of free time to pursue my own interests or spend with a one other person, exploring the world. That is 100% not possible with kids. Some might say that it’s “selfish”. I just don’t label it. For me, considering parenthood at 48 is not an option. And as hard as it is for some people to believe, I’m more than okay with it. That is part of my success plan.
Reality vs. Perception
A question I’m often asked since leaving styling is “what do you do?”. Professionally, my success plan is to be able to use my different skill sets as my primary source of income without having one long term employer. This comes in the form of working as a Brand Director in Advertising, Fashion, Lifestyle and Tech for various companies and brands, as a Consultant for Founders or Companies, as a Yoga Teacher leading as many people into the arms of a meditation practice as possible or as a Coach and Guest Speaker - where my work is with professionals who are just starting out or people who are perceived to have “made it” and want to explore something new. Essentially, I’m a storyteller and I teach people or companies how to tell their stories for a brand activation, a campaign, a personality or a project. It didn’t happen overnight and it definitely keeps me busy, but it also is my own blueprint for success. It is not defined by anyone else. Regardless of my age, gender, ethnicity, nationality or religion. Personally, I like to have a lot of quiet time. Quiet for me is often alone. Alone does not mean lonely. Alone to me is part of my formula to freedom. This also doesn’t mean I don’t want to be in a relationship or spend time with others. It simply means the way I set up my personal life and the way I choose to connect with others is distinctly suited to support what I frame to be living successfully.
To be okay with the ebb and flow of life is to embrace the notion that I’m just visiting. Much like David Bowie’s character in the film The Man Who Fell To Earth. My idea of success is not attached to anything that is fixed in nature. I don’t feel the need to have the same friends forever, even when many of my friendships are over 30 years long. It also doesn’t mean I feel the need to do the same job forever, live in the same home forever or be with the same person forever. My idea of success is to be in the flow of life and the reality of that flow. This is a way I practice yoga off the mat and in the real world.
What does your success look like? It’s a worthwhile exploration to feel a sense of contentment and inner peace. I don’t equate it as happiness - because that is moments and not something I see to be pursued let alone sustained. As the year winds down - exploring success may be something you want to do as we barrel out of 2018 and into 2019. Let me know what it means to you, I’m curious.