I’ve been thinking about success recently as I want to challenge my belief system.
In particular I’m interested in what constitutes success on a day-to-day basis. Often, we can frame success by what happens over time. But this means we miss out on the things right in front of us. There’s a lot of success we can miss out on by ignoring the small stuff.
So, there are things we do daily we take for granted, and these can be immensely skilful. When we build our skills incrementally, we can ignore the growth we’ve achieved. Shouldn’t we be paying attention to those? Shouldn’t we have a happy audience in our heads, ready to break into spontaneous applause on our behalf?
By success I’m not talking about completing ‘to do’ lists. ‘To do’ lists are a necessary evil but can easily become a noose. Nor am I talking about volume of work. I’m talking about quality.
Look at what our brain tends to notice: When I send a sloppy email to a client my brain will pounce on it but when I send something creative and thoughtful it barely registers. Shouldn’t I pause to recognise the skill I have shown? Where’s my audience applause?
We need to notice the small things that go right. The small skills we show. When all these small skills join together, they point the way to bigger success.
So how can I get myself to change mindset?
I need to alter my approach to each day …
What do I need to do?
I need to slow the hell down. Really slow down. Slow down and notice every task I do. Start to get a feel for the skills I am using. If it is a more difficult day, all the more reason to notice how I negotiate that difficulty. There might be less outcome, but there is greater art to ‘staying in the game’ during times of adversity.
Thin out my tasks Really. I’ve become addicted to list writing, particularly jobs I never get to. Any list should just be absolutely, categorically what I have to do…
And this thing about time? My brain tells me ‘I have no time to notice or stop’. But there is no such thing as wasting time. Time is neutral, time constantly moves forward. Whatever we do with our lives, time goes its own way, doing its own thing, oblivious to us. We’re really not that important in the cosmic context of things. And what a relief that is!
Stop working over hard to create success. I think I’ve been getting this the wrong way round for years. I should say Yes to having overarching goals to succeed, and yes to creating the conditions for that success but I need to trust each day will take care of itself. Leave some space for things to happen naturally.
Still with me?
I have other questions too…
- Why do I feel the need to prove I’m ‘successful’ ?
- Why do I let other people decide my success criteria? These impact negatively on my wellbeing. Surely a compassionate stance would help me much more.
- Is it time to include physical health as part of my success criteria – looking after myself is mega important.
- Should I stop seeking the advice of others and start trusting my own instincts more?
- What would my life be like if I applied five per cent more of my core values to the success I want to achieve?
- How will my life change when I look for incremental signs of success?
- What will happen if a self-care practice becomes my default position for day to day living before anything else?
- How can my success change the world?
What are you going to do? it’s all to play for…