Unclutter Your Life

Success Your Way

“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth” – Henry David Thoreau

There are four definitions for success in the Oxford Dictionary:

  1. The accomplishment of an aim or purpose:
  2. The attainment of fame, wealth, or social status
  3. A person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains fame, wealth, etc
  4. The good or bad outcome of an undertaking

What is your definition of success?  Is it a cookie cutter picture like others in your life or is it uniquely you?

My picture used to be cookie cutter.  In a nutshell, it was be the top in my field, make “big bucks”, make a difference in the lives of others and live happily ever after. When I became successful and a Chief Operating Officer of a non-profit, I didn’t feel like a success.  I couldn’t or didn’t want to see myself as others saw me.  I was content to be in the corner letting others receive the accolades.

When I entered the world of direct sales, my picture of success was a cookie cutter.  Yup, I am a people pleaser and didn’t really think about what I wanted.  I had forgotten how to dream and define success for me.  Over the last six months, things have changed.  I can’t explain it.  I don’t know if it is a result of the health issues or creeping up on 60 years old or whether I am just seeing myself as others see me.

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I have done a lot of digging, and I want my success to be defined as what feels fulfilling and meaningful to me.  Ultimately, the traditional definition of success just does not feed my soul or offer any long term fulfilment and joy – for me.  Traditional markers of success are about how the world perceives us and seldom takes into consideration how we feel about ourselves, our life or our work.

I have played the comparison game and so have you, where we have compromised our health, our relationships, and our wellbeing to reach someone else’s definition of success. We have ignored our own values so we could be accepted by others instead of building our own success dream. As a result, we find ourselves with a life which is exhausting and unfulfilling.

Building your own approach to success isn’t easy.  I regularly battle with Negative Nellie and Perfect Polly.  They are the inner gremlins who want me to continue to be a cookie cutter model of success.  How have I began building my own approach to success? I want to share with you some things which have helped me to find some peace in my world:

Contentment: Do I feel satisfied in my day-to-day life? Even when the stressors and challenges can’t be avoided, am I content with how I am spending my days?

Purpose:  Is my life all about me or is it bigger than just myself and my own needs? Am I am contributing to the world in a way which fulfills my purpose in life?

Passion: Am I excited about my work and my life? Am I eager to get up and start the day?

Joy: Am I happy with my life?  Maybe not every single second of every single day, but do I find joy and pleasure in my life on a regular basis?

Stability: Am I financially stable? Am I making smart decisions with my finances?

Personal growth: Am I open to changing, and growing in my life? Am I becoming the best version of me?

Devotion: Am I committed to what matters most in my life?  Am I giving 100% to the  priorities in my life?

Peace: Am I at peace in my day-to-day life, even when things may not be going as planned? Am I staying connected to my core values, to live an intentional life?

Authenticity: Am I showing up, in both my work and life, fully and 100% myself? Am I owning my story and living in my truth?

Remember these are my markers for how I am redefining success in my life.  Truth be told, I don’t live up to these every single day, BUT I am a work in progress not looking for perfection.  I’m learning to shift the focus from worrying about how others perceive my life to focusing more on how I feel about my life.

Tell us what success looks like to you…. no cookie cutter answers.  What questions would you yourself when fears of “am I successful?” and “am I good enough?” creep in?

Have a ThirtyOne-derufl day!

 

 

 

Unclutter Your Life

Scruffy hospitality

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I don’t know about you, BUT this fortune came at the right time.  See, I am one of those “need to have everything in place” kind of gals.  I struggle to have everything “perfect” before anyone comes to visit then freak when the littlest thing doesn’t go right.  Admit it, I am not the only one!  Don’t leave a girl hanging, please!!!

Your home doesn’t need to be picture-perfect to invite people over.

 I read a blog post by ROBIN SHREEVES which was an eye opener for me.  Yes, I will be the first one to give advice saying “they aren’t coming to see your house, they are coming to see you” BUT I seldom heed my own words.

The idea that we must make our home look un-lived in before having people over stops so many of us from sharing life together.

I mean don’t we usually try to make our home look un-lived in before friends and family come to visit?  And have you ever NOT had people over because there was no time to make it perfect?  As a result, we stop sharing our life with those who are closest to us.  (Photo: Elzbieta Sekowska/Shutterstock)

I love the idea of “scruffy hospitality.”  So what is it?  On his blog, Father Jack defines scruffy hospitality this way:

Scruffy hospitality means you’re not waiting for everything in your house to be in order before you host and serve friends in your home. Scruffy hospitality means you hunger more for good conversation and serving a simple meal of what you have, not what you don’t have. Scruffy hospitality means you’re more interested in quality conversation than the impression your home or lawn makes. If we only share meals with friends when we’re excellent, we aren’t truly sharing life together.

Honestly, the best gatherings have been the “let’s just hang out”.  My best home parties in my direct sales business have been those gatherings of friends to just talk, play with bags and catch up.  No formal presentation.  No fancy food.  Just friends enjoying each other’s company.

Now I know that it is a little tough to get away from the “perfect” house concept.  I mean many of us scroll Pinterest every day looking for ideas that we want to do before guests come to visit, right?

My journey to scruffy has been very slow!  I mean, miracles don’t happen overnight, right? Remember back to before kids, maybe even before you were married.  Were you a whirlwind, cleaning before dinner guests or were you more casual making sure things were put away but didn’t get crazy?

I realized at some point when I was a single mom that entertaining didn’t mean I had to have a spotless house.  The kids didn’t care and most of the moms were glad to know that they weren’t alone in “not” having a perfect house.  I totally got the idea of  “Are they coming to see me, or are they coming to see my home?”.  The house was always neat but dust bunnies got to stay longer than I wanted and sometimes I had to close a bedroom door to hide the mess.  It never seemed to bother me.

Then, somewhere after Belinda left for college, I moved into the condo and got married – the ideas that I embraced for years seemed to fly out the window.  Time to go back to the “old ways”.

Sometimes authenticity happens when everything is a bit scruffy,writes Father Jack.  In fact, I think the most authentic conversations I’ve experienced have happened during scruffy gatherings. Maybe it’s because when everything is polished and shiny, I feel like I need to be polished and shiny, too. When things are a little messy around me, I feel like I can let people know things are a little messy inside me, too.

Maybe you have friends who are excellent housekeepers, and their homes are always “company ready”. Do you feel like you need to measure up?  What if your house was authentically you?  Maybe a little dust, maybe some dishes not done or maybe even a few papers laying around, how would that make you feel?

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Authenticity invites authenticity. If your home isn’t naturally ready for company why not try the idea of scruffy hospitality.  Value community over tidiness. Invite people over and say, “I don’t know what I’m serving. I may have to order pizza. I would just love your company.”

“Hospitality,” writes Father Jack, “is not a house inspection, it’s friendship.”

Are you ready for scruffy hospitality?  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

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