A woman emailed me, and wrote:
I’m thinking about becoming a coach. I saw your website, and you look pretty successful. I was just curious if you make a lot of money, or if it’s just a 'feel good' job. What’s the average salary? If you know how I can find this out, please write me back.
I’m not a numbers person. Some people write the date in numbers:
I like to spell out the month:
August 20, 2010
I don’t know why, there’s something about numbers that drives me a little bonkers. Of course, they are a way of quantifying things, and probably more tangible for some than words. For example, many people define success by numbers: what a job pays, what’s in their bank account, what the scale says, how many bedrooms are in their home, how many hours they worked in a day. I just don’t define success that way.
Success to me living with passion, energy, and purpose. Success to me is making sure I’ve kissed my husband goodnight, every night even those nights that we’re affected by the Mars-Venus thing. Success to me is tickling my daughter, or teaching her to write , or making my 2 year old giggle by dancing around the room with him. Success is being able to do a job I love and still have peace of mind to pay my bills and have some fun. And, if money’s a little tight, success is figuring out how to budget better, knowing what’s important, and booking different types of work so it will be easier. Heck, some days, success is even just getting a shower, lip gloss, and matching socks on before leaving the house!!
I understand that quantifying success makes it simpler for some people to measure themselves, but I think it makes it harder to figure out how to get where you want to be. I mean, sure, we can say “I resolve to lose 10 pounds.” Or, “I want to make a six-figure salary.” Or, “I only want to be married once.” Hmmm… all good numbers. And, I understand, I used to also look at the end result- what I wanted in a “numbers” way. But, not being a numbers person, I always struggled with that perspective and was frustrated by the "how??".
Instead, I choose to define in words what I really want for my life. Honestly, I don’t care what the scale says, but I want to have tons of energy, feel great, and keep my body strong. Living well is a tool that helps me to do that, and yes, I’ve managed to get the number on the scale down, too. If the computer screen tells me I have X amount of dollars in the bank, it doesn’t really mean anything to me. But, I’d like to take my kids on day trips, go on dates with my husband, save a little for the future, give back to the world by helping others. Budgeting, saving, and earning are ways to help make those things happen.
So, as for the question, I think I’ll just answer her email with a link to this blog. Maybe it will help her to figure out if a “feel good job” will afford her whatever she defines as "success". After all, isn’t that what it’s all about- feeling good and enjoying the journey?
How do you define success? I'd love to hear from you!