Success – it’s all in the definition

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This week’s topic is to define success – what it means for us to have a successful day. It is so interesting to have this as the topic, as I think that I would have answered this question so differently in my twenties. Last week one of my favorite authors and inspirational speakers, Dr. Wayne Dyer, passed away. He led an amazing life and in his movie The Shift he talks about a study about the moment that turns your values upside down. In the study men and women list their values before and after The Shift, but it seems as though there is a common theme to the values. Prior to the shift they are driven by what they are raised to do or what they think society wants them to do. After The Shift they value less material or outside pressured values and look more to self-development / personal fulfillment type values.


As I watched the movie I could relate to the shifted values. However, I am going to say that I am not running for sainthood here, but over the years I have changed what success looks like. I used to use my workouts as another form of competition. I would push my body past limits that I am sure were healthy. I would take multiple classes on an empty stomach. Some days I would only drink water (no food) so I could lose that last 5 pounds. One day my body asked for a timeout. It just needed to rest – it was tired. So I changed my habit and slept in instead of getting up at 5:30 am for my workouts. And before I knew it, I gained 10 pounds, was up a dress size, but it felt so good to relax.

After a long rest, I got tired of the non-movement. I know that it sounds odd, but I was craving a change. At first I thought that I just needed a hobby, so I started to paint, which was fun. However, I really needed more. I slowly built the habit to go back to the gym. In the beginning success was defined as I put the workout clothes on and got to the gym. That was it. I made it there. I hung out in the lobby and drank my water. I was building a habit. Now success is that I take a class, or better yet try a new class, and have fun. Like so much fun that time flies by. I leave smiling ear to ear. That seems to be my goal most days: learn or try something new and have fun. For the moments that there isn’t fun, I find the lesson there as well. This last weekend I had an opportunity to practice patience and kindness, between myself and a fellow gym member. (The gym was very busy this holiday weekend!)

All days are an opportunity to feel successful – it is all in the definition.

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