Ever since I asked the 30 ladies in my last book what success meant to each of them, and had they achieved it yet, I’ve been thinking about my own personal definition, and whether or not I have achieved it. I also learned that success is kind of like choosing between 31 different flavors of ice cream. On a hot summer day, I really find it tough to pick just ONE flavor.
I don’t honestly have a clear picture of precisely what that looks like for me, yet. Therefore, I can’t really let you know if I’ve gotten there either. But, I do have fleeting glimpses and notions of what I think success might be for me. Here are a few:
1. Waking up without an alarm clock – the ability to give one’s body the sleep and rest it needs is a truly opulent luxury to me right now, but it really shouldn’t be. Success to me would mean that I get up when my body tells me it is time to get up, instead of having to set the alarm 30 min before the time when I actually NEED to get up so I can hit the snooze button at least twice. Maybe one day when I’m a “success,” I can chuck the alarm clock. That sounds and looks like success to me. (Provided, of course, I’m not poverty stricken, broke and/or without any kind of meaningful work.) High school and pharmacy school in college tried to pound me into being a morning person with 6:40 am and 8 am classes respectively for 9 years. It never worked.
2. Freedom – yes, in the liberty Constitutional sense, (something we’re all taking for granted these days), but also the freedom to work when I want, set appointments when I need to, get stuff done when the muse hits me, rather than on unreasonable time and space. Generation Y really values freedom even more, and I think it is going to be the future of work anyway–working regardless of time and space. The companies that force their employees to stay in a cubicle all day (when they don’t have to in order to get their work done) are nuts, because their workers can get MORE done potentially with a little more inspiration around them!
3. Ability to go off on creative tangents – to find the ‘superstar’ in all of us (as Lady Gaga said tonight), we really need and I personally desire the ability to learn new stuff, go down cool new avenues, and seek out answers to unanswered questions. Similarly, that leads me to:
4. Collaboration – I’m noting that a lot of the Record of the Year Nominations this evening on the Grammys are collaborations between different stars. I like that. The ability and freedom to work with really top shelf people on awesome projects is another sign of true success to me.
5. Enough $ to pay my bills – I don’t need to be a gazillionaire. But I do think a key to success is having enough money in the bank that if the you-know-what hits the fan, I’m good to go for awhile.
That’s all I really have for now. Besides, I’m not trying to rush to some kind of endpoint on the big picture. Maybe a project or two, but I definitely am trying to enjoy the ride. That, too, is part of the golden secret formula of my personal flavor of success.