“In those days, we finally chose to walk like giants and hold the world in arms grown strong with love
And there may be many things we forget in the days to come,
But this will not be one of them.” -Brian Andreas, Traveling Light: Stories & Drawings for a Quiet Mind
So, as I wrote last week, my friend Shirley and I successfully hosted our Popup Brunch. The month of April was incredibly busy for me preparing for the brunch, seeing clients, and writing blogs daily for the A-Z Challenge.
I just realized: I was successful.
Success is a big revelation. Each of us define it differently, and in this post, I’m considering success in terms of setting a goal, working on said goal, and achieving it.
The feeling of success, or being proud of ourselves is an amazing feeling in which we often don’t let ourselves revel. We tend to set a goal, work on the goal (kind of, or half-assed, or when we feel like it), and then somehow, things go in our favor. Maybe it’s luck, or other people doing the work. Then, we sort of acknowledge our work, and move on to the next goal because we’re “only as good as our next deal.”
But this time, I chose to do something else. Careful planning and meticulous care for the Popup and Shirley made the process feel different. This time, it wasn’t just about the money at the end of the event or how many people came. It was about communicating with Woogene, the restaurant owner, speaking to people in the food industry who could shed some light on our purchasing, sharing recipes and food with Shirley and our friends to get feedback, and deep focus.
I had forgotten that unwavering focus can get me from point A to point B. Usually, I’m a little blurry, starting a few projects that disable me from devoting my full energy to any of them. But this popup, as well as the A-Z Challenge, felt unique. Or rather, I went about them distinctly. I gave them lots of brainpower, energy, and creative thought. On days I didn’t want to or couldn’t be creative, I did it anyway. I read recipes, shopped for food, and prepared it even when I was tired. I wrote my blog even when the creative juices were dry or I was too busy. These things became a priority, and other things had to fall back in line.
The morning of the popup, when my friend Stephanie came to help, I looked at her and burst into tears. These were tears of joy. Stephanie and I share a very special and emotional closeness, and we emote similarly. So, when she walked in, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for her being there and pride for Shirley’s and my persistence and hard work. It was such a rush, a feeling that made me remember why we live. I love that feeling of exquisite timing, will, serendipity, effort, and love bundled together for a split second. Taking that pause to feel it was priceless and precious, and comes around on seldom moments.
The feeling of success is incredible, but I don’t think it’s an end result. I believe it, along with most things, are a process, or a philosophy of thinking and feeling. Thinking of success as an outcome is short-sighted and makes you skip all of the good (and difficult) parts of the journey that you’re choosing for yourself when you set a goal. If you’re trying to lose 25 pounds, remember why you decided to change your diet and start exercising. It wasn’t only to look better naked, but to feel better daily. When building your company or embarking on a new career, many milestones matter, not just when you sell or land a high-paying client. It’s all about finishing each level and looking back and realizing there’s not a lot you’d change. It’s about feeling the nuances of each moment and noticing how you feel throughout. Maybe a tweak here and there, but for the most part, it’s best when you are satisfied with each step.
The process of success is humbling. That inner feeling of joy and pride makes the long days or wearisome meetings worth it. I encourage my clients and friends to linger a little longer on their small successes that lead to the large pinnacles. Slow down the process so you can remember how good it feels to work on and eventually complete your goal.
I’m a Life Coach and I see clients in all stages of life. Please visit my website.