There’s always something to do, right? Somewhere to be. Someone to meet. Commitments to fulfill. We all have our reasons, but there’s one thing we need to ask ourselves: Is this really taking me toward my idea of success? How do I define success?
How To Define Success By Taking Time For Yourself
We can define success by financial abundance or happiness in relationships and family. But we’re really looking for common underlying themes, no matter what the category. Some of these themes are peace of mind, a sense of calm, and for things to slow down so we can actually enjoy our lives and take time for ourselves.
In other words, what we’re looking for is the exact opposite of the typical hectic lifestyle most people live. The irony in all this is how we define success as a society encourages you to live a hectic life where you can’t take time for yourself. You feel the need to reach for success now, so then you can finally relax, slow down and enjoy a sunset in the future.
But when does that moment come? Next week? Next vacation? Next year? When we finally reach a long-standing goal? When we retire?
It becomes a never-ending cycle of work for play; only a lot of people forget to actually take time to play now because of how they define success! When work is over, then errands. And when errands are over, then it’s obligation A, then B. Then it’s time to just crash and get ready to do it all over again so there’s no opportunity left to take time for yourself.
No doubt, hard, effective work can pay off, but at what price?
We need to change how we define success. Our definition of success needs to be one that speaks to our needs for:
- more balance
- more time to be with those we care about
- more time for play
- more time to take care of ourselves
- more time to do the things we really want to do, not just what we feel like we have to do
Why do so many people “work” their lives away and busy themselves to death?
One word: FEAR!
People fear that they’re not doing enough, or for that matter fear they are not good enough. They fear that if they don’t spend enough time on results-driven activity, then they won’t get anywhere.
The mind can be our greatest ally or our greatest obstacle, striving to protect the Ego that above all else wants safety, security, and to make sure we have “enough”. But if you’re always looking for “enough,” you never get to experience it, do you? You’re always doing, always going after it, as if it’s not possible that enough is enough right now.
— T. Harv Eker (@T_Harv_Eker) March 1, 2017
Naturally, I’d be the first one to say that finances and your career are important to how we define success, but not at the expense of your physical, mental, and emotional health. Not for the price of your sense of peace, your family or your few moments when you get to take time for yourself and enjoy life.
Don’t just spend time; take time!
Exercise: What’s Important To You?
- List your values for how you define success:
- What’s most important to you?
- If you didn’t have to work, how would you spend your time and take time for yourself?
- In order to take time for yourself:
- how could you leverage yourself (i.e. earn money while you sleep)?
- Who can you delegate some of your time-consuming tasks to?
- Then adjust your schedule for the next month by assigning specific times you take for yourself. Block out these times first. Consider them appointments and keep them as you would any other.
I want to hear from you. Can you relate to the challenge of the “never-ending cycle of work for play?” If you had to create a definition about how you define success right this minute, what would it be? (You can always tweak it later, but I want to know what comes to your mind first–what does your gut tell you? Declare it here in the comments . . . and then go live it!
This article has been updated for relevancy and accuracy. It’s original publish date was 01/07/10.