Success is in the eye of the beholder

What did you want to be when you were little? A fairy? A fireman? A policeman? Even perhaps a maid? Is that would would’ve made you happy or… successful? 

Today I was asked an interesting 2-part question:

Who do you think is great at life? What makes them successful?

Now, this is a question I’ve been dealing with a lot lately so it didn’t take me by surprise, however I still hadn’t managed to formulate a proper response for myself let alone for someone else!

As I sat there eating my lunch I realised I knew what I had to say, but was a bit afraid as it’s not an opinion most people share.

So I answered the first part and I said “happy people”. This for me is what makes someone great at life. However, my response needed elaboration; let me explain.

Most people think happy people have money – wrong! That’s what you think makes people happy, but I’ve realised over time that it’s not true.

When I said “happy” I was talking about those people who no matter what type of life they lead, they wake up every morning knowing how lucky they are. They live everyday overcoming obstacles and realising their own strength and potential. For me, being great at life has nothing to with money, but everything to do with integrity and happiness.

Someone can be waitressing their whole life and absolutely love it. They wake up everyday happy with what they’re doing which deserves the utmost respect. Now, I wouldn’t be able to do that, but that’s because I am a different person, and just like people have different opinions on who is great at life, people have different opinions on who succeeds in life. Which leads to my response for the second part.

You earn heaps of money?! OMG you’re soooooo successful!!!

As we map out our path in life, we realise that becoming what we want to be may not be as easy or possible as we once thought. We hit walls, break bones, but worst of all we usually succumb to society and end up belittling jobs that are at times deemed unsuccessful.

Yet one thing our ego allows us to forget is that the world does not revolve around our opinion. After speaking with many people, everyone had different versions of success. And to say that someone is unsuccessful because they’re not living by your definition or by what society has painted as success is a tad elitist.

What constitutes success? Money? Fame? Your opinion? A big house? What? What makes one successful in life?

Not everyone can be a doctor, or a lawyer or whatever else society has deemed important and respectable. Everyone has a job to do and all jobs need to be done. Every job is important, and just because you may be raking it in, does not make you better then me or anyone else.

Don’t get me wrong, utmost respect if you have worked hard and are doing what you want and getting paid well for it! But you’re not more successful than the guy who decided he wanted to cook burgers for a living 😉

If I held everyone to my standard of success, I highly doubt I would think many are succeeding- I don’t think the majority of the world population speaks 5 languages!

So I guess what i’m trying to say with this long train of thought you’ve just read, is that if you’re happy doing what you love and are sharing that love with everyone else, you’re doing great at life and succeeding – not matter your pay, whether high or low.

 

 

Melbourne’s top year

Far out! Another year practically done and dusted – how did that happen?

I’m finding myself ask the same question over and over again – why has this year gone so fast!

I can only assume that this poignant question will make a reappearance this time next year. #imgettingsoold

Yet even though this year has again come to a hurtling end, I thought it’d be nice to take a look back at all the amazing things that happened and pick the top things that made it so incredible, here we go:

Bar/Club
Melbourne is notorious for it’s nightlife which means that like everything else (as you will soon find out) it was difficult to choose a place. The place I chose was not new, but I had not been there before (not sure why really) and I loved it. It had food, cheap drinks and r’n’b all night long. Mr scruffs on Smith street, was definitely the best this year.

Book
I love books. They allow you to enter a world that is designed by you and nothing is impossible. I love them. And this year there were no shortages of incredible stories and personal bios which made this decision sooooooooooooo damn hard. In the end i couldn’t look past Girl on the Train. I love everything that incorporates mystery and suspense which I definitely found here.

09eoscpydhu-linda-xu

Song
Ok so my choices (as you are probably already finding out) stray 100% from the mainstream. Yes, it does say Melbourne’s top year, but since i’m in Melbourne and I had a top year these things will reflect my amazing year in Melbourne 🙂 Despite Spotify telling me that Cheap thrills by Sia was my fave song this year, I’m going to have to say that Otra Vez by Zion & Lennox (feat. JBalvin) was by far the best. Obviously it will never overtake Viva la vida, but for 2016, it did pretty well.

Movie
AAAHHHHH this is so difficult, probably more so than choosing a song. This year provided highs and lows with movies, yet the one that impacted me the most and caused me to think about my life in a much deeper way was Cowspiracy. While it’s not your average “movie”, it’s a documentary about how the agriculture sector is the leading cause of Global Warming and why no-one seems to want to stand up to the big meat bosses. Believe me, even you don’t change your eating habits it’ll open your eyes to much injustice occurring throughout the world.

TV Show
Ok so for this one I couldn’t decide between 2. This is us and Designated Surivor were 100% the best shows I came across this year and I can’t wait for the new seasons to start!

Images
1. Linda Xu via Unsplash

Forgetting happiness

How often do we find ourselves sitting down at a table or chair, or in front of a fridge wondering how it is that we got to that place? I know I’ve done it more times than I care to admit! The horrible thing about it is that we can’t remember – we can’t remember the thing that brought us to the place. We focus on why we are there so much we forget to stop, think, breathe and allow our minds to wander without the constraints of stress or anxiety.

Unfourtunately, I’ve found that this not only happens with random thoughts on the way to the kitchen, but with happiness too.

Society tells us that to be happy and successful in life we have to make money (albeit not explicitly). Don’t deny it. Every business, organisation and job is centred around how much money you make. If it weren’t about the money, why would you be looking for a better job?

Let me guess – to get a house, provide for your family, be financially stable, buy an investment, save for a holiday etc? They all require money. We get jobs to make money to buy what we think is essential for us to be happy in life when really, what we should try to do is take a step back, get the old photo album out and look at pictures of our childhood.

Childhood?  how random? I know.

I know that not everyone had a fantastic childhood – some had horrendous ones and prefer to forget it, but I’ve found that everyone during their childhood had one special memory, one special event or thought that triggered happiness -and it usually never had anything to do with money.

Children have a beautiful ability to see the world as one full of possibility, hope, love and happiness. They take pleasure in the small things whether it be a butterfly, the ocean or even a hug. They know what makes them happy and don’t forget it.

However, for some reason, as we grow up we lose that ability to know what makes us happy and seek it in the most mundane thing of all things.

Tell me something – what will be your legacy? What will people remember you for when you die? Your zest for life and it’s infectiousness? Or everything you owned but can’t take to the grave?

The power of Kindness

“Kindness is like snow–it beautifies everything it covers.”

What would you do if someone started insulting you? Would you insult them back? Would you think of even harsher words to hurl at them just so that they can feel twice the pain you feel or will feel later on?

I don’t have much admiration for people who try to put a fire out with more fire – they are what help burn the forest and houses down faster.

Am I saying that it’s entirely their fault? No, but when you’re in a situation where you have the power and control to cease a fire, why is it that so many of us elongate its life?

Why do so many of us feel that if we allow our pride to disappear for a bit we have lost? Since when has being kind ever been a loss?

I am a firm believer that Kindness will always lead to good things – no matter how long it takes. And that’s the thing; so many of us are incredibly impatient, that once we do show kindness it somehow makes up for all the times we haven’t been and should be more than enough. However, like most things in life we have to work at it.

I don’t proclaim to be the kindest person in the world but I know many people who struggle with the idea of being kind to someone who isn’t to them.

Recently, as all people do, I have been concerned with the fractures and divisions caused along the timeline of history. While many of these were born from complicated and deep issues, I believe that at the core of these problems was the absence of kindness.

Along with the absence of kindness is the absence of memory. The amount of times I have wronged someone, I really have no right to start hurling things at other people.

That’s not to say that when someone wrongs you, you don’t deserve an apology, but keep in mind that like you they are not perfect and deserve the same amount of kindness you do. At the end of the day it’s up to you whether that’s nothing at all.