What is Success?

The last six months I’ve moved and moved.  I guess if you count running a marathon with 50,000 people and meeting various bloggers and Oiselle teammates then yes I’ve been relatively social.   At some points I catch myself feeling sorry for myself as if I am upset for choosing the series of events that eventually led me to New Jersey.

I don’t know why I would even begin to feel sorry for myself since I’m completely happy in my area, I love who I’m living with and I’m happy with myself mentally.  Despite still not having a job and actively looking, everything else is my life is so positive.

I know for me personally I am my biggest critic.  When I race I have always found the imperfections of a race, whether it is taking the race out too quickly, too slowly, being boxed in…ect.  I even go as far as to find imperfections in races that I cannot control such as weather or temperature.  When someone gives me a compliment I find myself accepting it but talking about how I could be doing better.  Or what I could do to be better.  For instance if someone says “nice hair”, I might say thank you but it needs a trim.

I’ve always been extremely hard on myself trying to meet certain criteria that I feel will satisfy and cause me to feel successful and happy.  A new PR in a race?  A new haircut that makes me feel stylish?  Working 50 hour weeks to pay for bills?  The list is endless.  I’m honestly not sure the list ends.

It’s important for me (and us) to realize that while you can have everything you put your mind too, it isn’t feasible to believe that you would truly be happy with every single thing.  When I was working 50 hour weeks I was working, running and occasionally seeing friends.  Was I 100% happy?  No, I wasn’t living with who I am now and found myself wishing I was.  I wasn’t as social as I could be and I often missed important events due to work or to get training in.  I made the choice several times to hang out and be social versus training…but then my training suffered.  I made the choice several times to train versus going to a late night movie…but then my social life suffered.

Sure I was happy because I could afford the things I wanted but I was not truly happy.  My time was spent wishing I had more personal or free time.  I was wishing to have everything in life, bake a cake and eat it too.

Now that I’m unemployed I’m wishing I had a job that will satisfy my needs of what I want to do.  I’m wishing I had less free time and working hours to be able to afford everything I want.  I’m wishing that I had a job that I enjoyed again.  Oddly enough I truly miss working.

I guess what I’m getting at here is that in life you have to prioritize and have balance.  As I grow older I’m slowly learning that.  While there is no one size fits all perfect life,  you can be happy without succeeding in every single life event or thing.  You do not have to “do it all” to be happy.  I have developed a life mantra that you are successful only if you are happy.  Whether you are happy by working out, by working, by being with a significant other, you must be happy to be successful.  Truly happy both inside and out.  That is something I have been working on and I can honestly say I feel I’m accomplishing each day.

Question for you: How do you define success?