Hungarian writer Maria Popova said:
“If we are so busy being successful that we don’t have time to be happy, then we need to seriously reconsider our definition of success.”
Earlier on in my career, when I was speedily rising up the ladder with the promise of status and pound signs in my eyes, I told myself that working seventy-hour weeks and neglecting every other area of my life was the price of success.
And this worked…. for a few years. I went through life in this numb, life-less state. Until I woke up and realised that if this were success, it would surely feel alive, not dead.
Cut to today, in which I’m very much alive! I’m 9 months into my new business, which fits in nicely with my own version of success, which rests upon independence, freedom, creativity and service.
Of course, finding time for anything work related has been really tough. It’s just the way it is right now. I’m paying my dues.
Sacrifices have to be made, including some things that I enjoy…. but that doesn’t mean I’m sacrificing my happiness.
I love my work (for the most part) so actually work is enjoyment.
I practice gratitude and mindfulness which helps me to be aware and thankful of all the goodness around me, even on the harder days. Although I’m a very goal-driven person, taking time to just accept things as they are, without reaching for anything else, is very therapeutic for the brain.
I’m very aware of my own triggers, both positive and negative. So I do make the time for things like Jiu Jitsu – my exercise, stress-release, and time with friends – with the knowledge that if I drop this and acts of self-care like it, it won’t be good for me or business.
Back when I was working endlessly for someone else, I used to kid myself about things getting better. There was always a reason why it wouldn’t be so hard next year; some date in the future when I’d get to be happy.
All complete bullshit. It never got better – in fact, it got worse.