Tag Archives: life

The Best Definition of Success Is The One You Never Use

The Best Definition of Success Is the One You Never Use
March 14, 2013

By: Jeff Haden

Forget kaleidoscopes, forget people are like snowflakes, forget we’re all individuals (bonus points if you got the last reference without following the link.)

There is only one real way to define success.

Just one.

Granted success in business and in life means different things to different people, and should mean different things to different people. Whether or not you feel successful depends on how you define success — and on the tradeoffs you are willing to not just accept but embrace as you pursue your individual definition of success.

Still. Determining whether you are successful is based on answering one question: How happy am I?

Your level of success is based solely on your answer to that question.

How Happy Are You?

Extremely successful people — at least in terms of how “success” is typically measured — tend to work impossibly long hours as they focus almost exclusively on building their careers or businesses. In many cases (some would argue most cases) their personal and family lives are to some degree a casualty of that focus.

Is that a fair tradeoff?

Fair or unfair is beside the point, because tradeoffs are unavoidable.

If you’re making serious money but are unhappy on a personal level, you haven’t embraced the fact that incredible business success often takes a heavy toll on relationships. Other things are clearly important to you besides just making money.

If on the other hand you leave every day at 4 you can pursue a rich and varied personal life yet you’re unhappy on a material level, you haven’t embraced the fact — and it is a fact — that the profession you’ve chosen and the way you’ve chosen to pursue it will not make you wealthy. Personal satisfaction is nice, but for you it’s not enough.

That’s because your profession, your family and friends, your personal pursuits… no aspect of your life can (or should) ever be separated from the others. Each is a permanent part of a whole. Putting more focus on one area automatically reduces the focus on another area

Want to make more money? You can, but something else has to give.

Want more time with family? Want to help others? Want to pursue a hobby? You can, but something else has to give.

Think about what motivates you. What do you want to achieve for yourself and your family? What do you value most, spiritually, emotionally, and materially? Those are the things that will make you happy, and if you aren’t doing them you won’t be happy.

Sounds simplistic… but think of all the people you know who complain about the results of a path they purposely chose to follow. For example, a friend of mine constantly complains about his salary. He feels his pay doesn’t reflect his education and experience and in no way recognizes his true value to society.

While I agree, there’s a problem: He’s a teacher. You know what teachers make. He knows what teachers make. He knew before he went to college what the average teacher makes. Fair or unfair, his income is almost exactly what he knew it would be.

Still, it drives him crazy and he spends a ton of emotional energy on the subject. So occasionally I say, “If feeling underpaid bothers you this much, I think you owe it to yourself to do something different.”

“But I can’t imagine doing anything else. I love teaching!” he always replies.

“Yeah, but not enough,” I always think. If he truly loved teaching he could better accept the inevitable — and it is inevitable — financial trade-off.

So, Are You Happy?

Defining success is important, but taking a clear-eyed look at the impact of your definition matters even more. As in most things your intent is important but the results provide the real answers.

If helping others through social work is your definition of success, you may make a decent living but you won’t get rich… and you must embrace that fact. If you’re happy, you have.

If building a $100 million company is your definition of success, you can have a family but it will be almost impossible to have a rich, engaged family life… and you must embrace that fact. If you’re happy, you have.

So forget traditional definitions of success. Forget what other people think. Ask yourself if you feel happy — not just at work, not just at home, not just in those fleeting moments when you do something just for yourself, but overall.

If you are, you’re successful. The happier you are the more successful you are.

If you aren’t happy it’s time to rethink how you define success, and start making changes to your professional and personal life that align with that definition, because what you’re doing now isn’t working for you.

And life is way too short for that.

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16 Inspirational Quotes To Help Make Your Dream Life A Reality

16 Inspirational Quotes To Help Make Your Dream Life A Reality

By Silvia Mordini

Spending time dreaming is not the waste of time some would have you believe. Daydreaming, more than anything else, can stoke your creative energy and amp you back up. It’s vital to your overall mental, emotional and physical health, and neuroscientists have found dreaming to be an important part of your cognitive wellbeing. A 2012 study published in Psychological Science by researchers from the University of Wisconsin and the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Science suggests that a wandering mind correlates to higher degrees of what is referred to as working memory. This means dreaming might help us tap into creative problem-solving.

Apathy and complacency are the real enemies of love. They sneak up on us like small leaks in a boat and drain our imagination until we lose all motivation to keep growing. We’ve all fallen into this chasm of downward energy, but it’s vital to continue dreaming and acting on dreams to develop as human beings.

Recommit to letting your mind explore new possibilities by conceptualizing your biggest dreams and acting on them within the next 24 hours. Here are 16 quotes that will inspire you to live your dream life.

“Dreams are necessary to life.” – Anais Nin

“All human beings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together.” – Jack Kerouac

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman

“As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Dream and give yourself permission to envision a You that you choose to be.” – Joy Page

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask, why? I dream of things that never were, and ask, why not?” – Robert Kennedy

“All men of action are dreamers.” – James Huneker

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!” – Goethe

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” – Colin Powell

“Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living.” – Anais Nin

“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.” – Jesse Owens

“If you take responsibility for yourself you will develop a hunger to accomplish your dreams.” – Les Brown

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.” – Henry David Thoreau

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” – Anatole France

17 Quotes To Inspire You To Adventure

17 Quotes To Inspire You To Adventure

By Silvia Mordini

Life is too short to simply walk the beaten path. Yoga inspires us to reveal our fears and hesitations so we can grow beyond them into uncharted potential. Yoga has helped me realize that a final savasana is inevitable. Our lives are brief, and there’s no time to waste.

So don’t hold back! Don’t get stuck in living only SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic). Once and for all, break free of needing to know the outcome before you attempt something. Adventure somewhere, whether it’s close to home or somewhere exotic. Plan your next adventure now! Love yourself, love your day, love your life! And remember these wise words:

“When you step away from the confines of realistic, you become an artist painting your own masterpiece, an explorer charting new territories. You are creating new ways of looking at situations; you innovate at work and at home. It’s impossible to be bored with your life.” – How We Choose to be Happy, Rick Foster & Greg Hicks

“It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves — in finding themselves.” – Andre Gide

“Life is either a great adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller

“The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.” – Joseph Campbell

“The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.” – Oprah Winfrey

“No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time.” – Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

“A man practices the art of adventure when he heroically faces up to life. When he has the daring to open doors to new experiences. When he is unafraid of new ideas, new theories and new philosophies. When he has the curiosity to experiment. When he breaks the chain of routine.” – Wilfred Peterson, The Art of Living

“Blessed are the curious, for they shall have adventures.” – Lovelle Drachman

“To venture causes anxiety, but not to venture is to lose one’s self… And to venture in the highest is precisely to be conscious of one’s self.” – Søren Kierkegaard

“It is in the compelling zest of high adventure and of victory, and in creative action, that man finds his supreme joys.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“Adventure is worthwhile in itself.” – Amelia Earhart

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“Adventure, yeah. I guess that’s what you call it when everybody comes back alive.” – Mercedes Lackey, Spirits White as Lightning

“I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it’s very difficult to find anyone. ‘I should think so — in these parts! We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!’ ” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

“One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.” – William Feather

“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.’” – Jack Kerouac, On the Road

“Try Life: Live it!” – Jacob Young

10 Things To Remind Yourself On A Daily Basis

10 Things to Remind Yourself on a Daily Basis
By Madison Sonnier
Bad days can be extremely overpowering sometimes. When we’re having a bad day, everything feels wrong and the day seems to get even worse as we sink further into frustration and despair. By the end of the day, all we want to do is pull the covers up over our heads and block it all out.

When I clawed my way out of a depressive phase last year, it was a daily challenge to keep myself from falling back into that phase again. I had to go through a process of re-building my self-esteem and re-evaluating my life. But there were days when I was not very successful with these things and the negative thoughts that stayed with me for so long would interfere again.

It sort of felt like climbing up and over a steep hill and every time I let a negative or discouraging thought sink in, my foot would slip and I would roll all the way back down to the bottom of the hill and have to start all over again.

On the bad days, I would feel like it would never end and that I would always be unhappy.

To achieve mental balance, I have to make a habit of reminding myself of a few important things that I think we all tend to forget when there is a black cloud looming over our heads.

1. Do not lose sight of what truly matters. Does that clogged sink signify the end of the world? Are you going to remember or even care that the stranger you smiled at in the coffee shop didn’t smile back? When we’re having a bad day, we seem to zoom in on petty things and complain about them. Next time you’re pulling your hair out over something, ask yourself if it really matters.

2. It is okay to be alone or pull back from the world. Sometimes we just need to step back and re-evaluate a situation, a relationship, or just life in general. When I went through my healing period, I spent a lot of time alone as I tried to become my own best friend again. If you need to go into hiding for awhile and work on stitching yourself back up, take the time to do that. It is so important to pull back and spend quality time with yourself every now and then.

3. You are not always in control. You cannot predict when certain things will or should happen, or how everything will turn out. Sometimes you just have to stop pushing and let go.

4. What other people think is irrelevant. I was a miserable slave to the opinions of others. It got to a point where I was trying so hard to please everyone but myself. Don’t let your immediate reaction to criticism be to change whatever it is you’re being criticized for. Do whatever feels right to you, regardless of what other people have to say about it.

5. Don’t give up. If you’re fighting for something that means a lot to you, do not stop fighting whenever you happen to fall short. Remember why you are fighting for it.

6. You don’t have to know all the answers. No one ever has life all figured out. We are always learning and growing. Life itself is a mystery and it’s okay to feel clueless sometimes.

7. You are enough. All of us have had times in our lives where we have thought, “I’m not smart enough or pretty enough or strong enough or exciting enough to do _____.” Give yourself a chance instead of forming limiting beliefs.

8. Stay present. Try not to dwell on the past or worry about the future. Take everything one day at a time.

9. Your feelings will not kill you. I know that heartbreak, grief, depression, or resentment might make you feel like you’re dead and breathing, but you have the strength to get through whatever life throws at you. Hold on and see yourself through it.

10. You are human. This is probably the biggest reminder of them all. You will make mistakes. You will hurt other people and other people will hurt you. You won’t always feel happy and positive. Next time you feel the urge to beat yourself up over any of these things, remind yourself that you are an imperfect human being instead.

The Wisdom Of The Chinese

“When planning for a year, plant corn. When planning for a decade, plant trees. When planning for life, train and educate people.”
–Chinese proverb

On Slowing Down

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In the rush of our daily routines we tend to do few things deeply, especially living.