How Do You Define Success?

What does success mean to you? It can mean; having a steady job to clock out at daily, climbing the corporate ladder, becoming the CEO of a large corporation or being the best soccer mom ever. It can be a combination of anything but you need to define what success means to you before you set goals. It may even be predetermined by your parents…who knows? Eventually, to find success you need to define it, own it and then be flexible.

Be flexible because let’s face it, you aren’t one of the guys. Not that they think lesser of women, but many realize we don’t go home put our slippers on, have a martini and smoke a pipe. Being a mom means that you not only do all of your duties at work, but when you go home you’re transformed into the “wife”, or “mom” role and their duties. If you’re single, it is likely that you feel obligated by societies pressure to find a relationship that produces a child. Don’t fall into that trap. If it is meant to be, it will be.

Be prepared for change. It is inevitable…thank God! A mortgage crisis and hurricane destroyed my marriage. I found myself as a single mom who hadn’t worked for quite some time. Life threw me another curve when I found out the hard way that my son had life-threatening allergies. Okay. What now? Be flexible. How can I be successful? Be desperately brave, lift your chin and find out what your strengths are. Newly single women often jump into the dating scene because that is all they knew about themselves: employee, wife, mom. I couldn’t imagine leaving my son to a stranger, or even to family to search for my old life again…not with his food allergies and more importantly because when you choose to be a mom, you are promising an innocent baby that you will be there for them always. Sacrifice. I went back to school and got a MSAC degree, volunteered for all my son’s school functions, never missed a sporting game or practice. Counseled him. Helped him become the little amazing individual he is today. Did I date? Ah, no.

Women may not have remotely achieved equality with men, but we do win respect and, for our assiduous nature, we win power. With power comes success. With success comes equality. When? I have no idea, but when it happens we will gladly seize it! It may be power in the corporate world, or self-empowerment. Our natural diligence, assiduity, persevering, unremitting, industrious self will either make us a success story or at least keep us afloat. It is up to the individual.

Be bold and take risks. The worst thing that can happen is someone will say no or what you hoped for did not happen.

Speak your truth. Stand up and fight for what you believe in. Not everyone is going to think what you do is brilliant. You don’t need everyone’s approval. In a work setting you may find a problem. Find the solution and share it. Brilliance is finding solutions to everyday problems. People reward that.

Giving back is important. Successful people give back in different ways. Once you identify your passion and are able to conceptualize it, the probability of finding success is much higher. Network with like-minded people if they allow you. If they don’t then work harder, differently, be flexible, change and continue to take risks until what your truth is in life becomes reality. Never give up. If it is worth doing, then do it better than anyone and never accept no as an answer. Be kind though, always be kind.

The flexibility. The change. The assiduity. The risk taking. Speaking truth. Giving back… My definition of success.

Never forget to take care of yourself. Even if it is a few minutes to meditate, pray, exercise, lift weights, walk…take care of your body because it helps your attitude and mind function to their maximum ability.

Thanks for reading. I wrote this for myself…to remind myself that I am worthy of success no matter how others respond.