Today I’ve had one of those kind of “Bluuurhhh” days.
You know the sort? Feeling a bit old. Wondering what I’ve done with my life. Weather a bit blustery, a ton of boring jobs to do that I didn’t want to do (Errr … ho-hum that didn’t get done). Moped around a bit … waiting for unicorns … you know.
And the upshot of not getting stuff done is that creativity also goes into hibernation, because you know it’s true about asking a busy person to do something – they tick things off the list like a demon, and still find time for everything else too.
Looking for Unicorns
Today I was tempted to lock up the house and head out to the shops. But there’s a Filipino proverb that says: “If you make a habit of buying things you do not need, you will soon be selling things you do.”
Oh Hell’s Teeth I can do without having to burden my to-do list with the bundling up of old clothes and household paraphernalia to take on a trip to Salvos, thank you.
So just what was getting me down today?
First world worries really … oh, and the absence of unicorns 😉
- Lack of perceived success,
- A way I could exercise by just thinking about it and not doing it.
- How to take my blog to blog rock star status 😉 Please tell ALL your friends 😉
You might also like: 13 Nuggets of Wisdom and quirky quotes for Personal Success
and What does Success Look like to you by Russell Ward
What is Success?
But I know that deep down it was the Merchants of Misery making me feel dismal. As David Leonhardt explains:
“They are crafty rascals who conspire to sell us a fairy tale,” and those dastardly Merchants of Misery have set up a treadmill turning too fast for most people to jump off. “The Merchants of Misery work in mysterious ways. They disguise themselves as fame and wealth and goodies and approval. They masquerade as status. They hide behind the mask of Success.” (9 Habits of Happiness. 2007. David Leonhardt. Inkstone Press, Australia)
Wealth and Approval. If I’m honest that’s what I was chasing today. But deep down I had misgivings, because the idea of success I had in my head was making me feel ‘down’ and inadequate.
Here’s the lowdown
This morning I ran a personal blogging workshop and I helped the attendees in their quests to create better blogs – they said I helped, honestly they did. But their thanks wasn’t enough. I wanted to make them into big social media stars in two hours and then I wanted to be seen as the most successful blogging facilitator south of the equator with a million readers to my blogs and advertisers competing to pay huge amounts of dosh for space on them. Tomorrow – no scratch that – Yesterday!
That’s what success looked like for me. And it exhausted me.
But should it? Does it have to?
Prince Charles and the Roman Emperor Diocletian, have according to David Leonhardt’s book, one thing in common.
C’mon guess … go on … got it?
Nah, they weren’t great bloggers.
In fact, they both love(d) gardening. Both love (d) it more than being Prince or Emperor, and found the very effort of gardening satisfying. They were and are obviously fulfilled by it.
No, I’m not urging you to take up gardening, and I do realise that a living has to be made.
On the other hand, the trick for real success is contained somewhere in there, isn’t it?
Shouldn’t success mean focusing on what we enjoy doing and feeling fulfilled?
That’s really why I blog – in order to connect to people and to be helpful in some way. When I hit that sweet spot, that’s what gives me the tingle of excitement about what I do. If I do that enough, the rest will follow. I don’t have to sweat over being successful.
I enjoyed talking blogging and social media this morning, I loved it. But my perceived success was not contained in the moment. And because of that I felt I didn’t hit the mark. Why on earth had I put the bar so high for heavens sake?
Yeah, thinking through all this and making some sense of my “Bluurhh” day, I know that I feel better when I know that in some small way I helped inspire, or spread joy or learning.
As we get older and time on earth gets shorter, we need to define what makes us happy and successful.
Chasing wealth makes you filthy rich maybe but if all you do is impress people, but not in a good way, then what’s the point? Unless you donate it all to charity.
Success surely needs to include feeling part of something bigger, knowing that what you do is fulfilling, feeling as if you are on a journey, and knowing that you’re contributing to the world at large (or to individuals) as well as earning enough money to live comfortably.
Tomorrow I’m going to re-frame success by concentrating on getting some of my boring shit done and then doing what I love and hopefully helping inspire people to get up, dress up, makeup, get out there to exercise … and blog!
Or maybe I’ll just go shopping!
How about you? What does success mean to you? I am really really interested.