A few months ago I was chatting with a friend about success, and how we define that word when it comes to family, career and personal goals. I went on to say that if someone asked me this question a few years ago that my answer would have reflected what was in my personal bank account, essentially meaning that I defined success with how much money I was making. But fast forward to today and the way I define success is much different.
Way back when, before marriage and motherhood, I had a regular 9-5 desk job. I liked most of the jobs I ever had just fine, but deep down I always felt like something was missing. I just accepted the fact that work was work and the majority of people don’t truly love what they do everyday. But so much has changed since them, from the size of my personal wallet to how I feel about going to work everyday.
Most people who read along here and follow me on social media know that once I got pregnant with my daughter I decided to really build up my blog along with becoming a certified group exercise instructor. Becoming a fitness instructor was something I had wanted to do for years, but never felt like I had the time to study for the exam or add it to my full-time working schedule. Then my daughter was born, and I wanted nothing more than to stay home with her but still find a way to make a little money on the side. So I finally took the leap, studied my butt off and got certified.
Over the past two years I’ve been teaching a variety of group fitness classes and have added several certifications to my belt, including run coaching and personal training. On a weekly basis I teach classes, train clients and coach runners at the gym, at my home and online all while being a mom, wife, taking care of house chores and still managing to keep up with my blog and make time for my own runs and workouts. Some people tell me they don’t know how I do it all or how I keep up with everything, and sometimes I don’t either, but I always go back to a quote I love which I believe holds a lot of truth…
“If it’s important to you you’ll find a way, if it’s not you’ll find an excuse.” ~Jim Rohn
The things that fill up my days are the things that are truly important to me. The things that set my heart and soul on fire every single day. The things that make me feel happy every morning when I wake up and every night when I go to bed. These are the things I find time for because I want to. Looking back at where I was four years ago, I’m in a much different place – personally, professionally, mentally and spiritually. I no longer define my success by the amount of money in my bank account. I define my success by how hard I work, how far I’ve come and how happy I am doing what I do.
My husband remains the “breadwinner” so to speak for our family, and I’m OK with that, because I’m finally at the point where I’m contributing to our family simply by doing the things that I love and make me happy. My work doesn’t feel like work, and I feel lucky and blessed every day that the journey I’m on has led me here.
But in my opinion, success isn’t just about the career stuff, it’s personal and spiritual too. I learned being in the music business many years ago, and being in the fitness industry now, that many people feel threatened by those who have potential, who have innovative ideas and who are successful. I’m not one of these people. I’m the type of person who truly enjoys to celebrate in other people’s victories, support other’s in their dreams and goals and collaborate with other professionals to continue to grow and learn from each other. Sadly, not everyone has these same qualities. But every day I feel thankful that I’m a true supporter and friend. Although there are some people who will never be able to stand in front of me and truly be happy for my success, despite their own, I’m not that person back. I refuse to allow the negative intentions of others reflect poorly on me, my goals and my continued success. I’m at ease knowing that I’m a good-hearted person with positive intentions, and that alone makes me feel confident and successful both personally and spiritually.
I’ve truly never been happier, felt more successful or more fulfilled in my entire life. Yet, I don’t make as much money as I did when I had that 9-5 full-time desk job. But I’ve learned to let that go, I’ve learned that success goes sooooo much deeper than counting dollar signs. A friend once told me that if you do what you love and work hard at it, the money will come, and I’m learning this year more than ever that she was right.
What motivates me and inspires me are my family and the things I’m passionate about, not money. To me, defining success is about setting my own goals and focusing on my own life. It’s about staying true to myself and not allowing money or other people pursued in a direction that’s not authentic to me. It’s about not allowing the static of any negativity around me sway from all the things that are important to me. And it’s about putting my heart and soul into all the things that make my life shine brighter than it ever has before.
“Define Success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.” ~Anne Sweeney
What about you? How do you define success?