Fairygodmuma's Blog

Sprinkle some magic in your life…

The Measure of Success

  
What is success? And how do we measure it?

My son longs to become a pilot, and often asks me if I would prefer him to be famous or become a pilot when he is older.

I once believed that fame equaled success. The more well known and loved you were, the more successful you were. Then I saw one of my favourite stars battling drug addiction, going off the rails and struggling to maintain the little privacy they had. I realised that sometimes all that glitters is not gold.

I then believed that the more money you earned, the bigger house you lived in and amount of possessions you owned reflected your level of success. I pushed my so-called “unrealistic” dreams aside and ploughed head first into a career; working long unsociable hours, but that paid well and offered stability. Although never truly satisfied, it seemed like the done thing to do. Until I had children, that is.

I then realised that the long hours working which provided me and my family all these material measures of supposed success, deprived me of what really mattered and what was most important to me.

Time. Time to enjoy my children and be present for each special moment of them growing. Time to nurture them and ensure they grow into well rounded and happy adults. Time to spend with my husband and constantly remind ourselves of why it was we first fell in love. Time to focus on my passions and dreams which I had suppressed for so long. Time for me to just be. Time to live.

“What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do” – Bob Dylan

 

I often spoke about my desire to “work part time and live full time”. Sadly up until then, it had been a pipe dream and the reverse was the reality. Yet I did not want to retire old and exhausted, wondering what I had done with my life and regretting not spending more quality time with my children in the most important stages of their life.

Luckily my husband had the same ideas and desires as me. And luckily our hard work up until that point did pay off, as we were financially comfortable in temporarily leaving our careers in the UK and moving to a very rural area of France with our two young boys. We may not have as much money or as many material possessions or luxuries, but we now feel we have SO much more. We have the quality time together we all so desired, and which you truly can not put a price on.

“The starting point of all achievement is desire” – Napoleon Hill

 

I see unhappy friends still slaving away in jobs they hate, but which provide them the financial freedom to buy big houses, flash cars and all the latest gadgets. Yet sadly they moan constantly because they do not have any free time to enjoy these acquisitions. On the other hand I know people with very little money or possessions, but plenty of time, longing for fame, mansions or sports cars to fill their void. Believing that this equals success.

As I have said before and I will say again, take away all of those material items and what is left? If you base your life and all you do around what makes you happy, everything else is just luxury or a bonus rather than necessity. To me, that is success.

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Albert Schweitzer

 

Although our move was a big risk and was originally a temporary move, we now wish to make it permanent. It may mean downsizing and missing out on annual holidays abroad or life’s little “luxuries”. It may mean I have to work part time in a supermarket stacking shelves, or cleaning other peoples houses for pocket money. But I don’t mind, because we are basing our lives around what makes us happy and in return we have something that makes us truly happy and which money can not buy: Time.

 

I truly believe that the meaning of success is a personal thing and differs from person to person. Whether that be becoming the best at a sport you love, having a thriving career in a job you adore, learning 5 languages fluently, building your dream house in the woods, emmigrating abroad or simply being the best parent you can be.

The driving core beneath true success is surely “happiness” or “doing what makes you happy”?

 

I also believe success is about having a good balance between work life and home life. Even if you are not necessarily fulfilled in your job, if you can balance it equally with the things that mean the most to you: family, friends, following your dreams and passions and making time for yourself, then surely you are making a success of your life?

“Success is simple. Do what’s right, the right way, at the right time” – Arnold H Glasow

So are you a success???

Ask yourself the following questions and take the time to think carefully about the answers?

  • Are you pursuing your dreams / desires
  • Are you staying true to your values or what is most important to you
  • Are you making time for what makes you happy

If the answer is yes, then pat yourself on the back and keep doing what you are doing. If the answer is no, then perhaps you need to work harder to ensure you move towards and make time for what makes you feel most fulfilled and happy.

 

“I never want to go back to our old life. I prefer it now because I get to spend more time with you and Daddy.” These were the exact words of my eldest son just recently when asked how he felt about us returning to the UK, and both my husband and I returning to our old careers.

These words resonate with me daily. They also remind me of what is important to me and my family. And what makes us all happy.

No matter what challenges life throws at you. No matter what you have now or where you have come from. If you stay true to yourself and your core values, and strive to surround yourself as much as possible with the things that make you happy, you are a success.

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So now when my son comes to me and says “Mummy, would you prefer me to be famous or be a pilot when I am older”, I am able to say, “Whatever you become, as long as you are happy, you will be a success”.

 

Love and blessings,

Fairy GodMuma xxx

 

 

 

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