When you decide that you want to start making positive changes in your life, you have to dig deep.
You need to start challenging the thought patterns and habits that are currently not serving you.
Think about this:
What does success look like to you?
How we define success can shed some light on the unexplained feelings of disappointment, uneasiness, aimless and the feeling that we don’t measure up.
Let me explain.
If someone was to ask me what my definition of success was, I would have no problem coming up with things like: meaningful relationships with my family, being happy and content etc.
Yet, each of us usually have core beliefs that are buried so deep that we don’t even think about it. These core beliefs sometimes serve us (without thinking we try to be honest, without thinking we help someone who is having troubles), some of our core beliefs do not serve us and left unchallenged can wreack havock.
For me, I realised that deep down I wanted to be amazing at something. I wanted to have a clear purpose and passion about something. Without this, I felt that I wasn’t successful.
We may uncover that we believe that happiness only comes if we are a certain size. Or that we think we need the perfect home to be happy or reach a certain point in our career.
It is fine to have goals. The danger I am talking about is: if our sense of worth and feeling of success is reliant on achieving that goal.
What a huge burden!
This thinking is unhelpful, unrealistic and unreasonable.
President Dieter F Utchdorf talked about the classic tale Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and how it relates to us:
“People all over the world desperately yearn to find a golden ticket. Some feel that their entire future happiness depends on whether or not a golden ticket falls into their hands. In their anxiousness, people begin to forget the simple joy they used to find in a candy bar. The candy bar itself becomes an utter disappointment if it does not contain a golden ticket. So many people today are waiting for their own golden ticket—the ticket that they believe holds the key to the happiness they have always dreamed about…..The lesson here is that if we spend our days waiting for fabulous roses, we could miss the beauty and wonder of the tiny forget-me-nots that are all around us.
This is not to say that we should abandon hope or temper our goals. Never stop striving for the best that is within you. Never stop hoping for all of the righteous desires of your heart. But don’t close your eyes and hearts to the simple and elegant beauties of each day’s ordinary moments that make up a rich, well-lived life.
The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments. They are the ones who, thread by daily thread, weave a tapestry of gratitude and wonder throughout their lives. These are they who are truly happy.”
I realised that my golden ticket was finding my passion and purpose. Subconsciously, I had developed a core belief that if I was outstanding in a certain area, it was proof that I had found my passion and purpose. Not attaining this lofty goal made me feel like something was wrong with me. Now that I have recognised and named what is going on, I have been able to challenge it and I can see it for the nonsense that it is.
So, I am re-writing my definition of success. Success is no longer limited to one end goal. I can have successful moments every day! Living a life of gratitude and joy is all about celebrating the successful-everyday-moments.
This morning, I knew in my heart that I was where I needed to be. My son asked me to walk him to his class when I was dropping the kids off to school today – I can’t even remember the last time he asked this of me. When we got to the outside of his class, he asked me to bend down to his level, which I did, and then he gave me a lovely kiss.
I was feeling a little bit under the weather this morning, and that moment with my son has buoyed me up, recharged my batteries and made me so happy. Choosing to be with my son this morning and sharing that special time with him – that is what success feels like to me now.