5 SIGNS I'M SUCCEEDING IN LIFE (AND YOU CAN TOO)

Everyone defines "success" differently, but for me it translates to contentment and peace - not a competition for first place. It's time to step out of the ratrace and enjoy life on our own terms. #midlife #success

WHAT IS A SUCCESSFUL LIFE?

Something I've been noticing since leaving the workforce is that everyone defines "success" differently. When I was working it was all about how high up the corporate ladder you've climbed, or how much money is in the bank, or your latest travel plans. For others it might be how well your children are doing, or how important your husband is, or how big your house is.... the list is endless. For me, success in life looks a little different to all of this.

I'm finding it translates into contentment and peace. It's not a competition, it's not winning the race - in fact, I've completely pulled out of the consumer rat race these days. Success is sweet, and simple, and slower than it used to be and I'm relishing this time of quiet satisfaction.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESSFUL LIVING?

An article from Mark and Angel popped up on my Facebook feed recently and it helped me clarify why I'm feeling content even though I'm not ticking the mainstream definitions of success. The article was titled 16 Reasons You’re Succeeding in Life and as I read through the list, it inspired me to choose the ones I'm knocking out of the park as I thrive in this next chapter of my Midlife journey. I narrowed it down to my Top 5 Signs of Success and I thought I'd share them with a little explanation for each.

1. YOU ARE WALKING YOUR OWN PATH (NOT SOMEONE ELSE'S)

It's been a long time coming, but I think I've finally found my own path through the woods. I'm not walking behind someone else, I'm not following the signposts that point in directions I don't want to go, I'm just ambling along enjoying the scenery as I choose my direction. 

I'm finally confident enough in my own choices and my own worth to be able to choose my own road and it's not the main thoroughfare, or even the popular choice, but it's my choice, and I'm satisfied with that. I love the Robert Frost poem "The Road Not Taken" and the last few lines that say:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.



2. YOU HAVE OVERCOME CONSIDERABLE OBSTACLES (AND YOU RESPECT YOURSELF ENOUGH TO NEVER LET ANYONE WALK ALL OVER YOU AGAIN)

This point resonated the most strongly of all - after walking away from the turbulence and upset and disrespect of my last job and finding my "self" again, I know that I've managed to overcome a major hurdle and survive, and not only survive, but thrive and flourish. I initially thought that thriving would be reflected in returning to work again, but instead it's shown itself in the sheer joy of not working for anyone any more. It's the pleasure of answering only to myself and living on my own terms every day.

And I will definitely never allow another person to flood my life with their drama and disregard my boundaries ever again! I learned a valuable lesson about what is acceptable and what is a complete transgression from those work years, and I will never again confuse empathy and compassion with becoming someone else's prop or allowing them to abuse my friendship and concern. It was a tough lesson, but one I will never forget.

3. YOU HAVE INCREDIBLE PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE (AND YOU MAKE OTHERS SMILE)

If having incredible people in my life is a sign of success, then I am nailing it big time! First cab off the rank is my lovely husband who has been my support and anchor through the chaos of that awful work situation. Without his support I think I'd have drowned in the drama and wouldn't have recovered as quickly as I have. Then there's the amazing tribe of Midlife women (both online and in real life) who've supported me through this year's transition and recovery process. Their love, encouragement, and feedback have inspired me to be brave enough to choose my own path, to embrace what I actually want to do (rather than what I felt I "should" do) and to live a life of my own making.

I think the fact that I can laugh and smile and share joy with others is the greatest gift this life is giving me. Every time someone tells me that I made them smile is a win for me. A friend in hospital shared a story of mine and had the theatre staff laughing with her as she went in for her operation - how good is that?! Another friend said I was the friend who made her laugh while she was going through chemotherapy - that really made my day. I love that I can share joy with others - that's a sign of a life well lived isn't it?

4. YOU AREN'T OVERSPENDING TO IMPRESS OTHERS

This is a big one for me too - at first I was wondering how we could live on one wage in today's world of spend, spend, spend? The answer is simple - step away from consumerism, and embrace uncluttered minimalism. Living a sustainable life of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - buying less, needing less, spending less - it's so easy and the more I choose to live this way, the more comfortable I feel in my own skin, and it makes living on less a breeze.

Henry David Thoreau said 'I make myself rich by making my wants few' #inspirationalquotes

Henry David Thoreau said 'I make myself rich by making my wants few' and that sums it up for me. I feel rich in so many ways that may not look like the world's view of "rich" but, true wealth (for me) goes far beyond dollars and cents and is measured in quality and contentment instead.

5. YOU LOVE YOUR LIFE FOR WHAT IT IS

The final sign of a successful life is loving where you are and what that life looks like to you (not necessarily how it looks to others - but how it looks to you). I know that certain people in my life question my choices. They don't understand that I want to live a life of less and that it can be a full and interesting life in and of itself. I can't worry about them, they have a different set of values to me and define success differently.

Ultimately, succeeding in life is a personal perspective. My idea of success might not be yours - and that's okay. What truly defines successful living is that you have a life you love and I'm loving every moment of mine. I'm not waiting for the weekend, or for a vacation, or for something to distract me from my daily life. I love this quiet, comfortable, peaceful life I've been blessed with - and I smile every day when I look at how far I've come in the past few months.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Are you living your definition of a successful life? Are you waking up with a smile and feeling grateful that you've made choices that have brought you to where you are today? If not, what can you do to find your path through the woods to a place of happiness?


RELATED POSTS

Everyone defines "success" differently, but for me it translates to contentment and peace - not a competition for first place. It's time to step out of the ratrace and enjoy life on our own terms. #midlife #success
Everyone defines "success" differently, but for me it translates to contentment and peace - not a competition for first place. It's time to step out of the ratrace and enjoy life on our own terms. #midlife #success

To keep up to date with my posts, feel free to add your email into the spot especially for it on my sidebar and I'd love you to share this post by clicking on a share button before you go xx
This post was shared at some of these great link parties
Cresting the Hill - a blog for Midlife (Middle Aged / 50+) women who want to thrive

48 comments

  1. Hi BBB, after reading your post it has shown me that I am succeeding in life after all. Perhaps I'm still looking for some direction but that will happen in it's own time and until then I'm enjoying life especially after our lovely holiday. It is so important not to compare ourselves with others or do things that we feel we should be doing to achieve what society deems is a successful life when in reality we are so unhappy. Success is being happy, having a loving family and friendships and making the most of each day. Have a beautiful day my friend. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sue! Yes, I think you're succeeding and thriving in your life. I love that you have so many interests, that you're focusing down onto what really resonates with your heart, and that you inspire me with all that you're achieving. Add in a loving family and you're spot on for being successful - and isn't it great that it looks different for each of us? That's what makes life interesting!

      Delete
    2. Hi BBB back on track with #MLSTL and I've share on social media. Can't believe we have almost hosted 90 parties. x

      Delete
    3. I know Sue! Who'd have thought we'd be rocking along still when we first floated the idea of MLSTL - and how well it's been accepted!

      Delete
  2. Hi, Leanne - I agree with you that succeseding in life is a very personal perspective. I like your tips -- especially #5!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Donna - I think you can have all the "success" in the world, but if you're unhappy with your life then it means nothing. If we aren't content and we aren't ticking a lot of our own 'success' boxes then we're not really succeeding at all.

      Delete
  3. Hi Leanne! You KNOW I agree with all this. I don't think you have to wait to retire to learn it because the sooner we do the sooner we can begin to really appreciate the life we have been given. And as for making others smile and smiling yourself...that too is a biggie. Thanks for all the reminders. ~Kathy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kathy - yes we often sing the same song don't we? I think I got so caught up in the idea that you have to jump through the hoops of society's expectations of success that I lost sight of what it really means. Shiny success works for a lot of people, but quiet, reflective success works a lot better for me - and retirement helped me see that.

      Delete
  4. Thank you for your blog, it resonates with me on so many levels. I especially like your No. 1 - Walk your own path. After a few years of semi-retirement, in my mid-50's I returned to study. I chose nursing, with its associated compulsory attendance, class politics, assessment deadlines, exams and, yes, stress. My friends ask: in disbelief "Why are you doing this to yourself?" For me, it is completing an unfulfilled dream from my 20's - and I'm revelling in learning new, useful information and practical skills. That is my "joy". I hope to work part-time in the field, giving back to others, as long as I can. Success, for me, is the satisfaction of helping others. It is a personal reward that money can't buy. Anyway... that is my path for now, and your post today was a welcome encouragement, thank you. (PS: The Mark and Angel FB page is another favourite, too, for it's positivity). Keep up the good work. Lisa in Melbourne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lisa - I SO admire women like you who have an unfulfilled "passion" and actually do the hard work needed to bring it to fruition. I imagine the study and dealing with all those younger women would do your head in at times! But good on you for pushing through so that you can become the person you've wanted to be for so long.
      I had a friend go back and do nursing in her 40's - she now does one or two 12hr night shifts a week and it brings in a nice little income and allows her to work in a quieter environment than the busy day shifts. Her kids are grown and flown so the shift work doesn't impact on trying to raise a family - win/win!
      I'm still trying to figure out if there's more for me down the track (no driving passions I'm afraid) but in the meantime I'm savouring every moment of this quiet time I've been blessed with. I'm so glad you enjoy my blog and I hope you'll keep visiting xx

      Delete
  5. Hi Leanne, this resonates with me too. You are definitely succeeding and sound so much more content these days and happy in yourself. I love number 5 so much and your reasons for each point says it all. Everyone sees success as a different thing as you say and I'd like to think I'm also succeeding despite all that's been going on lately. Thanks for another inspiring post and yes you always make me smile, mainly at how in tune we seem to be :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I've shared for #mlstl :)

      Delete
    2. Hi Deb - I'm so glad we're on the same page and the same journey - sometimes I think we all take turns leading the way. And success is definitely subjective, but I've come to see that I don't have to take a 1st world point of view and compare my life with what I'm told is success - I don't want what the things that equal commercial success - I want a much milder and more peaceful version - and I think I've finally found that.

      Delete
  6. Somehow my comments didn't go through - my fault i think. sorry if i comment twice. I really loved this post and I realize that yes I am succeeding. Im writing, I have lots of good close friends, Im busy volunteering, Im getting fitter everyday. #MLSTL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bree - Blogger commenting sometimes doesn't play nicely with iphones and Safari. I'm glad this comment made it through, and yes - once we start defining success on our own terms I think we come to see that we're living fantastic lives and we don't need the world's definition to be content with all that we're doing.

      Delete
  7. I've written about this a bit before, but I actually had a party on the weekend that really highlighted this to me, but you'll have to wait for that post...getting to our age and feeling good about yourself seems to be far more difficult than I thought...#MLSTL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lydia - I hope that post makes it to MLSTL :) And yes, life seems to be a constant reinvention. I'm in a completely different place than where I expected to be at this time last year, but in the process of all that it took to get here, I wouldn't change it. Now I've adapted, I can't believe that I put up with things for so long because I thought that's what we "should" do and how I "should" live to tick the boxes - crazy!!

      Delete
  8. Oh, love this, Leanne! I've shared to my FaceBook page. Thanks for the reminders of what success truly is! So glad you are content and happy in this post-retirement age!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Theresa - thanks so much for sharing this - and I think you can relate because taking the risk and changing jobs is the same idea - where you throw out what everyone else thinks and how they'd move forward, and you run with what feels right for you. That's when you start living your best life isn't it?

      Delete
  9. This is very true. I love what you've written! After seeing my group of close friends back in college now very stable in their medical career, I can't shake the feeling that someone might think I'm the odd one out. I'm the one who didn't pursue the same path as theirs. I am now a mom, a wife, a homemaker, a WAHM. AND I LOVE EVERY BIT OF IT. I am enjoying life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so hard to not feel like you "should" be doing things that others consider to be the "right" choices Kye, but what it boils down to in the end is what's important to you and investing in our homes and families is such an under rated success these days. Producing well balanced, confident, loved children and being a team with our husband is vital (IMHO) and my proudest achievements when I look back now aren't work related, they're all about my family. You seem to have it all and I hope you continue to enjoy every minute of it :)

      Delete
  10. Yahoo for you. Shared this post on FB and pinned this post. Way to go. Wish you many successful years ahead.Point # 2 is a big one for me. I'm strong and empowered and sounds like you are too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Nancy - and yes, we learn through life's experiences what we'll put up with and what is just not acceptable don't we? I've become a big fan of boundaries and not allowing others to take advantage of me - and that's been a big lesson, hard earnt but one I'll keep building on from here on out.

      Delete
  11. Having watched you for the last year or so, I have seen you grow into yourself and the life you want to have. What an incredible joy to finally be feeling like you are successful on your own terms!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh thanks so much for your lovely words Michele - I know that success looks very different for all of us, and I spent way too long thinking my life needed to be lived on the same level as others. What I've found is that some people LOVE their jobs, they love their careers, they love the lifestyle, the travel etc.....me not so much, I'm happiest at home and doing things on my own terms. Maybe one day I'll find a creative outlet that I can add to my life that but I'm not forcing the issue - I'm all about contentment these days.

      Delete
  12. Another lovely post Leanne. Going by your list, I am succeeding in many ways but yet I still feel I have a way to go to feel content. I'm still searching for *something*. My *thing*. Interestingly, this is the subject my post will be about on Thursday. I'm so happy for you that you're enjoying where you are in life now and feeling content. xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Min - your Thursday post resonated with me because I think we've been on a similar journey. We needed to leave horrible workplaces behind us, but we're not sure if we're done and dusted as far as "working" goes - it's just that we want something on our own terms. I commented on it being the "unicorn" job (I think that came from Jo Tracey!) and that's what I feel I'd need before I considered leaving what I have now.
      I spent many, many years wishing I could leave the drudgery of the workforce behind, now I have, I'm reminding myself daily that I'm living the dream!

      Delete
  13. Oh my goodness, yes...to all of this, yes. I love my life now - even though it's not what I thught it would be at this point in time. I love how we've stepped off the treadmill. I'm still ambitious - for my writing career - and have my own set of definitions around what defines success there. I do, however, think I'm living a successful life. That doesn't mean it's perfect or I don't want to continue to grow, but it's now more than ever before on my terms. I'm enjoying seeing this come through in your posts since you left the day job behind. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jo - yes, yes, yes! I'm so glad you "get" what I was writing about. I look at your life and you seem to cram so much in and I wonder how mine compares because it's so much smaller. Then I remind myself that we're each living the life we want to, and working towards refining it into something that's perfect for us - one size doesn't fit all - and isn't that a good thing? One day when you're a famous novelist and I'm borrowing your books from the library I'll be able to say "I knew her when...."

      Delete
  14. Hi Leanne I read this when it was published but just noticed my comment doesn’t appear. So take 2. I made many changes to simplify my life a few years ago and have never regretted it. I have no doubt you are succeeding in life Leanne #MLSTL Will share

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jennifer - I'm glad you popped back and re-commented. It's so annoying when a comment doesn't take isn't it? And yes, simplification is a big part of success - I love how my life is so much calmer and less complex these days - and that spells success for me too x

      Delete
  15. Ohhh as ever your thoughts resonate with me. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle; Be happy with what you have; Life is about relationships and friends and so much more. I so admire the contentment you are finding, although I realise it's been hard won. I'm still ambitious for my writing career, like Jo above, but not in life. Not to keep up with the Jones's or have the biggest house and swanky holidays. With Mum gravely ill, and Dave recovering from a knee replacement, I'm also having to reframe how I look at life. Thanks for the inspo today. #MLSTL and Pinned :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jo - I'm so glad you liked the post. You're so inspirational in what you do with your blog - but it also helps me to see how much work goes into taking things to the next level (and how I don't have it in me to push thru to that next point!) Interesting that you're another blogger with a book in you (I don't have that either!) I'm sure you'd write something quite amazing with all your life adventures.

      Delete
  16. I guess I'm very successful! So true, it's your ability to define who you are and be content with it. Sometimes we find that later in life, I know that's true for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jennifer - I think what we figure out in later life is that success doesn't have to be the same for all of us - some find it in being big and bold and meeting life's challenges head on, discovering new things, tackling big jobs etc and others of us find it in settling into ourselves and a quieter time of life. Each is wonderful and I love how the blogging Midlifers cheer each other on as we discover what success is going to look like in the second half of life.

      Delete
  17. Hi Leanne, I've learned through my experiences that life is all about being content with what I have and being close to those I love. You nailed it. Shared on SM #MLSTL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what it is for me too Candi, I completely understand why it might be something completely different for others, but I love that I can remove myself from the competition and focus on what my heart says is right - that's when contentment really comes into play.

      Delete
  18. Congrats on living a successful life, Leanne. I agree that it's a personal perspective. I've been very grateful for my life as it is. #MLSTL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gratitude is such a key component to feeling like we're on the right path isn't it Natalie? If we can see how blessed we are and we can step back and appreciate the life we're living then we've achieved success.

      Delete
  19. Great post! I agree with all of them. I define my success in a happy, well adjusted family. Thats all that really matters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Family is a big one for me too Amy, but I think I've taken a step sideways from that and I'm focusing on being responsible for finding contentment in my own life separate to what others are doing. I love that my kids are living really happy, fulfilled lives and that allows me to get on with figuring out what I need to be happy and fulfilled too :)

      Delete
  20. Hi Leanne,
    I totally agree with all your points about what it means to be living a successful life. But I think that this perspective comes from experience - which we have some of at this point, right? LOL
    Terrific post - #MLSTL and shared

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes - experience and wisdom (some of the compensations for getting older!) and also the ability to finally think about our own needs instead of everyone else's! I'm finally at the point where I can look at what is best for me and to settle into that - and the drop in my stress levels is definitely a sign that I'm on the right track.

      Delete
  21. I love each opportunity you are taking to share your life lessons recently acquired. Go you!
    Denyse #mlstl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Denyse - that's part of what blogging is for me...working my way through what life hands me and sharing my thoughts, getting input from others - and hopefully coming out the other end wiser and more confident. Getting there slowly!

      Delete
  22. Hi Leanne, I always enjoy reading your posts. Many of the gems seem to arrive when I need to hear (read) them. I have been away and I am enjoying my catch up reading. The bonus is it allows me to read more of the comments, too. I extra like your #3 point. I have been fortunate to have great people in my life. #5 is part of the Gratitude and Thankful philosophy for me. Like you say, “a personal perspective.” A great post, Leanne!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks Leanne, so lovely to hear you content and happy. Our Julie has chosen this post to be featured in the next Blogger's Pit Stop. Well done :)
    Kathleen

    ReplyDelete
  24. I learned long ago that my definition of success didn’t need to match what others thought. If I’m happy and can take care of myself, then I’m successful. I especially feel successful in my retirement!!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for your comment - it's where the connection begins.