More than twenty years ago I sat in an Irish Pub in Bangkok (where we lived) with my now-husband.
I was more than ready to get married and had actually proposed marriage twice by then. The first, when we were living at his parent’s house in England early in our relationship, was mostly because I could not legally work there and was frustrated. The second was more than 2 years in and I was simply ready for us to commit to our shared future.
I wanted to talk about it and thankfully my husband was honest with me about what was holding him back.
He told me that he knew the nature of his career would mean being flexible with where he lived – you went where the work was. He saw me as smart, driven and with my own hopes and dreams. He did not want to be responsible for holding me back or making me choose in the future. He just did not see how it would work for both of us – one would have to give up something.
Today I remembered this conversation as i was thinking about success and how we define it. How important it is to stay connected to your values and come up with your own metrics so you know when you are living a good life and meeting your goals and dreams.
All those years ago in that pub I told him that what I wanted most in life was to be loved, have a family and travel the world. We had met at the start of my travels so that was not a surprise to him, but hearing that my vision for a successful life held no mention of career was unexpected.
I went on to have great jobs wherever we moved, never creating a career, but instead creating a life.
I was thinking of this today because after starting Inner Compass Designs and trying to build something I forgot to pause and think about how I would measure success, what I wanted for myself from this business, how I wanted to live.
While I am figuring it all out I at least am reminded that I can decide for myself what that will look like. Money has never been my metric of choice – I look to my values and see exactly who I am and what is important to me. I need creativity, freedom, connection, family and growth. Those are my metrics. Those mark my path.
And I look at that list and realise that I am living them all right now. I am more successful than I realised.
How do you define success for yourself?
Like values, there is not right or wrong answer to the question. It is about knowing what you need in life and then staying in alignment.
Love and light,