On Tuesday evening Jane Frances and her lovely husband came to visit. Mum cooked a fab meal (she is the hostess with the mostest), and we chatted all evening. Jane very kindly gave me another pair of shoes (I know, she is too generous!!!). I've talked about Dear Frances shoes on the blog lots (see here and here for a little taste of that), but if you haven't seen her collection then see her website here.
Another thank you to MyBag.com for sending this gorgeous Paul Smith hat which makes me feel like the most glam person ever! It even qualified for a selfie moment which Mum captured in what looks like a very staged photo (I promise it wasn't!)
Have you ever tried to take a Pinterest worthy photo with a grumpy cat?? It is almost impossible. Thanks for nothing Neville!!
OK so raise your hand if you have a tendency to always look for the next success, rather then appreciate the ones you already have. Mine is firmly in the air for this one, and it's something that can put me on a downer of not feeling like I am achieving the successes I want. I am not suggesting we rest on our laurels, rather that we ought to spend more time looking at the successes we have. Analysing them, reflecting on them, even basking in them from time to time, in order to repeat them and apply them to other aspects of life.
I don't want to make this post all about blogging related success. There are lots of (very good) posts about at the moment on this topic, and I don't feel I can add anything new to that discussion. However, the matter of success in blogging is relevant to me at the moment. As I am working to turn my blog into a viable alternative to full time employment, the issue of success and how to measure it often fills my mind. Too easily it becomes a numbers game, which in turn allows me to compare myself to others too easily. This week I decided to think about what success was, both in terms of setting small goals to reach and celebrate, and in terms of thinking about the bigger successes in life that can so easily be taken for granted.
I believe success needs to be a personal thing. Not defined by other people through a comparison to one another. This is what I find difficult in an industry run by social media and the (often false and perfected) images we present on there. Where we are all in the habit of publicly declaring how busy we are, is that now a signifier of success? That work life is so busy, with countless opportunities being thrown our way. That isn't necessarily how I perceive success. Success is how we deal with these opportunities, how we balance them with what else comes up in life. The relationships we have nurtured, the health we have that allows us to reach our goals. These are the foundations of success, and any further success are built upon these.
So I thought it might be interesting to ask some other people how they define success. We all discussed over dinner this weekend, and I got everyone (mostly Harry's family) to write down what they thought success looks like, and/or what it means to them.
Harry, 22 years old.
Success is the progression and ability to keep doing something which you love. Sometimes success measures big or little achievements, but success itself is personal and shouldn't be declared by any other.
Gordon, 83 years old.
Balanced well ordered mental state of mind will being success in life.
Anne, 60 years old.
I think this quote sums it up well: "Success then is really about feeling that you belong, that you are getting noticed, and that what you are doing is good for both you and the people around you."
Lisa, 47 years old.
To be healthy, happy, love and comfortable with my life, with my loves.
Woody, 12 years old.
Success for me is when you are happy with what you have achieved and think that your future is safe. Richard Branson is who I aspire to be and hopefully achieve big but in the way that I do good to/for the world!! Success can be big or small but always means something good.
Katie, 22 years old.
I always liked this quote by Albert Schweitzer: Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
Please leave in the comments what success means to you. It's so important we stop every once in a while and consider our successes. It's all about setting goals and meeting them, how little they may be. My current goal is to have had three cups of tea before 9am, so excuse me while I go and boil the kettle...