Thoughts about my upcoming school reunion are taking up way too much real estate in my head space. Almost 40 years on and the assorted memories (both positive and negative) are as fresh as daises in spring time, even though the season is autumn both in nature and in my life (middle age). I’m wondering if any of my previous class mates will recognise me after the ravages of time and child rearing have taken their toll on my face and body. The other biggy, is will they ask the dreaded question – “What have you done with your life?” In real speak – Are you a winner or loser in the lottery called life?
I’m not sure why I’m letting this worry me. Other people’s opinion does not define who I am. Also, we will have all aged, some more gracefully than others, but our outer body is not a true reflection of who we are and what we have made of life’s journey. As for success – it is a subjective thing. It can only be defined by what is important to you and in relation to a particular point in time. The most important question we should all ask ourselves is – are we content with our life right now and see ourselves as successful? If yes, then we should pat ourselves on the back and celebrate; if no, then we should be asking why not and what am I going to do about it? Going for Gold on Goal Setting outlines my current change quest.
How do you define success? There are countless answers to this question, but they all boil down to whether you define success as impressing yourself:: that is you’re contented, feel fulfilled and experience love. Or impressing others: that is – you have fame, status, money or top of the career ladder or have an assortment of big boys/girls toys. It’s a judgment call made by you or about you. We get to decide though, whose option we value - our own or other peoples. The choice is ours whether we see ourselves as winners or losers.
An old proverb says:
“As a man thinks in his heart so he is”
Success or failure is not an event, it is a process. It is the end result of thoughts and attitudes that have been processed on a daily basis. It is not external, but rather an internal reality. Attitude determines whether an event is an opportunity or obstacle or a mountain or a molehill. When you build a positive attitude you are consciously making a choice to live on the bright side of life and you literally build a better day.
Some tips for Building a Winning Mindset:
- Focus on the things that really matter to you – live your dreams
- Take control of your life and plan for the future. Life is not a dress rehearsal – you only get one chance so make each day count.
- Act like a winner and celebrate the small steps you make each day towards your goals
- Take ownership of the choices you make including the decision not to choose. Choices no chances determine our destiny. Tomorrow is determined by the decisions and choices of today.
- Don’t blame yourself or others when things don’t go as expected. The blame game distracts you from learning from mistakes. It’s also prevents you from moving forward.
- Educate your Attitude and see the potential, not the problem. We cannot always control the circumstances but we can control our response to them.
- Let go of past hurts and losses – You cannot possess the future until you let go of the past. Anger, resentment etc eat up your energy and keep you from moving forward.
- Invest time and energy in supportive relationships: “When others see through you a friend will see you through. When you make a mistake others will rub it in, a friend will rub it out”. ( Building for Success, Gray, M. The Winners Choice, 200, p.70)
- Practice developing a “spirit of generosity”: We live in a society that encourages individualism and consumerism. It’s all about us and about now. But in life sowing always precedes reaping. If you want to receive you first have to give of yourself.
“A champion’s life is often short lived, and trophies are no substitute in the end for a shared commitment to something beyond oneself”
(Charles Handy is a writer, broadcaster and lecturer)
10. Relish the journey – Life is meant to be full of Joy
Do you celebrate all your victories, even the small ones? I'd like you to think of all your accomplishments. It might be easier to make a list of a few major ones, but what about all those little successes that add up to a happy life? . Do you have a family? Do you love them? Do you help your neighbour or volunteer in the community? Do you service your clients well at work. There is plenty to be proud of. . Revel in your accomplishments. Be your own cheer squad. Big wins might be thrilling but a winning mindset is built on the thousand of little successes we achieve each and every day. So at the reunion I will hold my head high and be proud of who I am and the life I am leading right now.“I slept and dreamt that life was joy,I awoke and saw that life was serviceI acted and behold – service was joy”(Rabindranath Tagore - Indian Poet)