I admit it… I love being busy; in fact the worst form of torture for me would have to be ‘boredom’. I am literally never sitting still unless I am asleep.
I wasn’t always like this. When I was at school I liked nothing better than being immersed in a book in the school library – I missed a class more than once because I preferred non-fiction over my fictional life.
Moving to another state, getting married and having kids have a way of filling up your days, but that was a busi-ness that was the result of circumstance. Although I chose that life, the busi-ness was part of the situation I was in, I often felt totally overwhelmed by it. I had no family support and a husband who travelled overseas – a lot.
When my girls were 3 and 6 I started a university degree while working full time. By then I was a single mum, but I was determined to get a Bachelor degree, something I had always wanted to do. I did one subject a semester via distance learning, it was 8 years of anxiety and fear. I loved studying but I was afraid of failing, which only served to increase the business, to make doubly sure I didn’t fail. And I was surviving, but barely.
My busi-ness is now is entirely different. But not for the reasons you think.
I now embrace my busi-ness because it is made up of all my choices. At the age of 53 I can now make decisions based on what I want to do, rather than what I have to do and my measure of success about myself has changed.
What changed my mindset was reading ‘Thrive’ by Arianna Huffington.
In particular, this… “We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decision, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success; its part of success.”
Holy shit!! I had it all wrong. By viewing success as money and power and the stress that comes with it, no wonder the busi-ness of life was making me unhappy.
Arianna believes the third metric of success is wellbeing, wonder, wisdom and giving and this was a revelation. Suddenly my choices became deliberate, I made decisions based on what I wanted to do, rather than what I should do.
I took a redundancy because it felt like the right thing to do for my wellbeing – and let’s be real here, this would normally be a tough decision for a single mum – but the day after I left that role, I was offered another job, and not just any job, but pretty much my dream job.
Now I’m thriving not just barely surviving. I have a life, where I put value on things like rest, sleep, quality of relationships, which – ironically – will absolutely lead to a successful career. One where I will thrive.
“To live the lives we deserve… we need to measure success by wellbeing, wisdom, wonder and giving.”
Read Thrive by Arianna Huffington