For many women in midlife, we will begin a journey of re-defining personal and professional success for ourselves.
For us in midlife, success takes on a new and different meaning than it did in our 20’s and 30’s when it was most likely being defined more by others, the current culture, the past, hope or advertising. Our forming of new, revised, more authentic definition of success is a reflection of our wiser, deeper, more experienced selves which sets us free to enjoy our life and work more completely because we are no longer defined or boxed in by outside influences. There is a sense of release from priorities that are no longer relevant or meaningful. However, while this may be the case, we do not need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to achieving success.
In this series, “Things We Can Learn From Successful People”, we will be looking at successful people who have made their mark on the world through achieving incredible success in their work. By using these successful people as examples, we can learn from them, be inspired by them, and follow in their footsteps to achieve our own success!
Your journey to success can be as simple as going from point A to point B. Or it can be similar to “the long and winding road.” But no matter your path, there will be certain elements that will need to be present for you to achieve ultimate success. This series will address these elements one at a time.
Element #1: – Discover Your Passion
Our first person to be spotlighted is David Frost. David Frost is a British journalist and media personality, who summarized one of the most important concepts of being successful.
“Find something you’re truly passionate about and do it.” – David Frost
His philosophy was that if you feel strongly about something, no matter what it is, you’ll most likely enjoy perfecting your skills in that field and becoming an authority on your subject matter – fueling your success. Also, your chances of being successful greatly increase when you are passionate about what you are doing.
“Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.”
How to Apply David Frost’s Tip to Your Life
Once you discover your passion, all you have to do is just keep doing it to achieve success.
- If you loved to paint or draw as a teen, figure out a way to continue your artistic pursuits and get paid for them as an adult.
- If you’re passionate about baking cookies and cakes, bake plenty of these pastries and sell them.
You see, when you do what you love, you will enjoy the time you spend doing it. Plus, you’ll be compelled to experiment more with your chosen work and become better and better at whatever it is you’re doing. Your confidence will surge and so, too, will your success.
Unsure of what you are passionate about? Try these tips:
When we slow down, we are able to tap into the best version of ourselves, which is most often when we find the answers we’ve been searching for. This might mean practicing yoga, going for daily walks, or setting aside time each day to meditate. Slowing down allows you to quiet the outside voices and listen to yourself.
Identify your personal values.
These values are the ones that give you the greatest joy and satisfaction. You feel deeply passionate about them as they come naturally and do not create any internal conflict. These values often surface during challenging times or when you are forced to make difficult life choices. For most people, their innermost values emanate from family, work, self and service. These could include personal accomplishments, security, independence, friendships, integrity, power or community work. Identify yours and write them down. Then have a look at them every day.
Pinpoint makes you happy.
Pinpoint the thing(s) that make you feel the happiest, freest, and most satisfied when you’re doing them. Sometimes we are so used to doing the things that we think we should do, that we can forget about the things that we really want to do. It may seem like a simple thing, to know what makes you happy, but for those who are more out of touch with their inner selves, who are so busy doing “the right things”, this question can be more complex than anticipated. What makes us happy is intricately related to who we really are, so our journey of finding our sources of happiness is also a journey of discovering who we really are.
Notice when you lose track of time.
Time does not speed up when we’re having fun, it actually slows down. We think it speeds up because we can spend endless hours doing what we love. You will often lose your sense of urgency when you are in your passion. When you start reverse clock-watching and get annoyed when time goes by, you’re on to something. What would you love to spend hours doing, that you never get enough time to do? That’s a passion, and you probably need to do it more than you are.
Change your story.
We all tell ourselves stories about who we are, what we’re capable of, and what we deserve. If we can identify our self-limiting stories (I’m not good enough; I don’t deserve to be happy, etc.), then we can begin writing new stories that are grounded in confidence and courage, and map out actions that move us from one to the other.
Own your uniqueness.
We are here for a reason. No one else has your unique blend of talents, wisdom, strengths, skills, and creativity. We all have something great to offer, and learning to accept and own what makes you unique is crucial to sharing your gifts with the world.
Our brains are wired to be curious. As we grow up and “mature” many of us stifle or deny our natural curiosity. Let yourself be curious! Wonder to yourself about why things are happening. Ask someone in the know. The best way to exercise our curiosity is by asking “Why?” Make it a new habit to ask “why?” at least 10 times a day. Your brain will be happier and you will be amazed at how many opportunities and solutions will show up in your life and work.
Focus on the fun.
Too often we get wrapped up in the expectations we set for ourselves. We focus on the details and the to-do lists instead of what is most important. What do you love to do? What makes you smile? If money were limitless, what would you be doing today?
If we are continually telling ourselves we can’t, then we will never believe we can. There is a chance you may fail, but it will be impossible to succeed if you don’t believe in yourself. You can create affirmations, focus on the things you want, or make a vision board that shows your future success.
Find the themes.
Recognizing the recurring themes in our lives creates a pattern for us to either follow or change. What themes or lessons seem to constantly surface in your life? What are you drawn to again and again? What areas of life seem to be full of discomfort and pain? What areas are full of joy and light?
Ideas flow more freely when we write without an agenda. New inspiration may appear unexpectedly and it becomes easier to connect the dots. Spend a few minutes of quality time each day with a pen and paper allowing yourself to process your thoughts without influence from the outside world.
Visualize what your dream life would be like. After you write things down, you get a well-defined mental image of what it is you want. The very process of putting your thoughts into words creates clarity. This clarity will help you form a vivid mental image that you can carry around with you 24 hours a day. .
Push past fear.
It’s so seductive to tell ourselves that we’ll go after what we want when we have more experience, more money, or more time, but the truth is, that will never happen. We must identify these excuses as masks for our fear. It’s only when we get clear on our fears and recognize how they are holding us back that we can begin moving forward.
Acquire the skills.
Get the skills you need to follow your passions. Go back to school to learn about what you love (if what you love is like a subject – literature, philosophy, history… etc). Or get work experience, start a website on it or volunteer. Make what you love your life – make it a reality.
Embrace personal growth.
Personal growth is the result of introspection and taming your ego. At work, you could start this process by learning to see the difference between disagreements and personal attacks, between feedback and criticism. Don’t let your ego get in the way of absorbing relevant inputs from co-workers as that could actually help your own growth.
Don’t give up on your dreams.
“Your dreams are bigger than you. Your dreams are planted deep within your heart by Life itself. Your responsibility is not to make them happen, but simply to say, “Yes.” – Kute Blackson
Try these tips to bring more of what you love into your work life:
What do you enjoy most? If your current career isn’t one of your choices, then consider bringing one of your hobbies into your work life. By building a career around a beloved hobby, you’ll enjoy your work considerably; then work will be more like play. Rather than quitting your job to do your hobby, try building a side income with your hobby first.
How can you monetize it? Determine several ways you can make a profit from your hobby. Could you sell what you make? Could you teach others your skills? Could you start a related business selling hobby supplies to others? Could you start a website where you discuss your hobby and sell advertising on it to bring in regular income?
Get started. Whatever plans you make for turning what you love into your work, take action toward making it a reality. For example, if you want further education or certification in your chosen line of work, enroll in a class. If you’re going to sell what you make, make some items and sell them – you could use Craigslist, eBay, put up a website, and more.
Once you have found your passion you can grow it into anything you like, whether it be a business, a hobby, a people’s network or simply something that inspires you to get out bed in the morning.
When we’re in our passion, we have endless energy, we’re never bored and we are always striving to improve ourselves doing what we love.
David Frost once stated “don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.” I believe Frost perfectly summed up success: an individual guiding his/her own actions to help further causes that are personally important. Additionally, these things can change over time as a person grows, matures or experiences significant life events.
What are some of the things that you are passionate about that you would like to pursue? What are some of the ways that you can do that?
Share your answer in the comments box below or join the conversation on social media channels. Also, share this article with anyone whom you think would benefit from it.
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