Saturday, 14 January 2017

Rethinking Success


Freshly made pizza totally from scratch.
Beats the pants off a bought one.



Hi folks

I have been pondering the concept of success lately and am now a bit suspicious of my long held beliefs about success.  You see, success nowadays seems to be so fleeting, so circumstantial, so costly, so subjective and ....well...just plain competitive.


Freshly baked Romertopf bread cooling.

For instance...success in a career will always come at the price of time away from home, time away from family and some serious educational debt - I am not so sure the slightly inflated paycheck is actually worth the effort in real terms.  These days I take satisfaction in successfully completing the family's laundry - am I losing it?!


I found my half-finished home-journal/grimoire. Now to find
some nice secondhand leather to make the cover.


Anyways....so I used to think that once I was successful that I would experience a real sense of arrival, satisfaction, achievement and self esteem - but no. I just felt like I had climbed someone else's mountain instead. It was resentment that I felt not success.  I also used to think that success would evaporate my non-specific anxiety about life and I would be very 'together' and confident. Again, computer said "no".


Deep-fried eggs and bacon
Who can resist?!


I always believed that once I was successful (at whatever) that I could relax, enjoy, relish, celebrate and share.  I still want to believe that.

It is true that  for many years I chased success in areas that were totally incongruent to who I was and my core values, so really I had Buckley's chance of ever truly feeling successful. Instead I felt like a fraud. Thus I am really starting afresh over the last couple of years in creating a list of goals and achievements that actually line up with my core values, not someone else's.......


More freshly made pizza.


Something I have begun noticing more is the things others say I am good at......these comments always take me by surprise because the things mentioned are not things I am working at being good at....and I do not even think I am good at them. Nevertheless, I have not brushed this observation aside because there probably is a lesson in other folk's observations.  Maybe the answer to the success riddle is hidden somewhere in this.....time will tell.


There is a very special story about this.....for another day.


Another thing I have begun to mindfully take note of are activities and situations where I feel energised.  This has been an interesting experiment as it has brought up some surprising results thus far. For instance: Why do I feel so energised when I am chatting to someone about creating a pathways for their success? Why do I feel so energized with 30 people sitting around my dinner table eating and drinking and being happy?  Why do I feel so energized teaching people things (anything!)....I am meant to be a deep introvert and yet I am energised by these 'people' things. I feel SO successful  whilst doing these things - weird much.  I'll keep observing and see what manifests I think.


Two more in the oven - you full yet? No?


As you can tell my mind has about 100 'screens' open at the moment and the over-thinking warning light is flashing too....ha ha.

I wonder if your perception of success has changed across time?


Another one ready to go into
the oven.




Take care folks and stay nice

Mr HM

23 comments:

  1. Love your thoughts. Have you come across a podcast from The Minimalists? They have one about living the dream only to find out it was someone else's dream. We introverts can be energised by people- we just need quiet time afterwards to recover.

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    1. that is so true earthmotherwithin. I always thought I was an extrovert and then could not figure out WHY I needed more time alone than with other people and then I came across a description of the extrovert introvert which fitted me to a T. I get my social cup full twice a week and then the rest of the time I am happy alone.

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    2. Yes, I read/listen the minimalists regularly and enjoy lots of their thoughts. I am not a minimalist as I like my things around me....having said that, I have culled heaps of stuff too. Yes the introvert/extrovert conundrum is rather interesting....I am beginning to understand it a bit better as times goes on.

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  2. Mr Hmmmm,
    I have been a teacher for over 30 years. I have taught small children through to adults. In that time some of the best teachers I have known have been considered introverts. the world needs good teachers. Is there the possibility in your current work placement of taking on more of a teaching role?

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    1. I do love teaching (especially adults) and as a youngster always wished to teach, but the parents believed there was a glut of teachers so chooffed me off to do a trade. I never worked a day in said trade after my apprenticeship ended and have now spent many years doing other 'stuff' instead. Maybe the teaching thing may re-manifest as a possibility.

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  3. As I am a wife and mum I was only did occasionally part time work, I was never worried about climbing the career ladder family came first for me and always will, I have always been a contented homemaker.

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  4. That pizza looks delicious, Mr. HM! Making me feel quite peckish! (Good thing it's almost dinner time here.) I think looking out for what energises you, what you can lose yourself in for hours ... those things can sometimes lead us down unexpected by happy paths. Meg:)

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    1. I can lose myself for hours researching , reading, playing my piano and chapel organ, planning, day dreaming, being domestic, helping folk write budgets, listening to others talk about themselves......

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    2. Perhaps, somewhere in your list, is a new path, Mr HM. I know, as a much younger person, I would have loved someone to help me write a realistic budget! Meg

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  5. Bother, lost my post. I feel that success is often someone else's measurement. Balance is better. Paul coelho wrote a short piece about the fisherman and the rich man, or businessman, I forget which. Can't link to it as I don't know how on this machine but it raises a wry smile. Teaching is not just for extroverts and if you love your subject,as you do, it is an enjoyable and infectious way of communicating. So interesting to see your thoughts, process and the gradual shifts you are making ☺

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  6. 'What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it should be' I saw that on the web, I posted it on my blog, it's the truest statement I have read. Our commercial world everyday is overloading us with what 'we need' to have a successful life, and our younger selves buy into it, chasing everything, and when you get there, suddenly there is the next level. Giving us no time to enjoy what we have. As an older lady I look back and like you see how much time is wasted chasing the dream, instead of enjoying and living our lives.

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    1. I think what screws me up most in life is having a very clear picture in my head as a youngster and never having done any of it (it all was deemed 'unsuitable'). So now the onion layers are being peeled back 45 years later.....

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  7. Yes HM, when I finsihed UNi snd first job, I went right up that ladder but soon realized the cost in terms of stress and peace of mind. The more you earn, the more responsibility and stress, so I stepped aside and was able to leave and do something else because my identity was not wrapped up in position, title and pay - it did define me. The things that bring me most satisfaction these days unfortunately don't pay good in $, but they make for a great lifestyle.

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    1. ....well, maybe when I get the dear daughters all through uni and launched into life I can take a big step back. That may be for another 6 or 7 years yet.

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  8. Successful pizza maker! You've inspired me to make our pizzas thicker next time. Success.. For a long time now I've thought it was more about being than achieving. I always cringed at the sales motivational meeting's idea of being a success. They presented pictures of big boats, holiday homes, jewellry etc. I flunked at the sales jargon. I know the piece about the wealthy businessmen visiting the quiet fishing village as mentioned above by Carrie. It's perfect!

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  9. wow, great post, didn't understand any of it but enjoyed the pizzas! thanx!
    maybe success is like beauty, it's in the eye of the beholder?
    though i do see you as successful, you can cook, make soap, do the housework & are very satisfied at the end of your day, isn't that success?
    thanx for sharing

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  10. I love home made pizza but so do my hips! I'm making one tomorrow night but I'll use home made flat bread. Not quite as yummy as your base. I love prawns on pizza and I just but 6 or 7 and cut them in half. Avocado is yummy too. Timely post about success as I'm kind of beating myself up at the moment about work (looking for) when really I just need some work to pay the bills so I can still do what I love. Work to live not live to work as they say

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  11. I haven't been following very long and have to say your blog posts are wonderful to read, extremely inspirational on so many levels. Pizza looks amazing, I have to admit I drool at your foodie photos♥ Linda

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    1. It is wonderful to have you with us here Manchester Lass. Yes, I tend to post foodie pics despite their total irrelevance to the post ha ha!

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  12. I think the problem is that, for many , the view of success is bound up with what a person does, what they earn, the size of the house they live in, where they holiday and what car they drive. None of those things have ever impressed me, and they're not how I view people in terms of success. I've always been more interested in whether someone is kind, helpful, a good neighbour etc. There's a quote attributed to Bob Dylan which sums up how I feel about myself in terms of being successful; “A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.” That makes me the most successful person I know! Scarlet - wife, mother, daughter, homemaker, crafter, gardener and many more besides, none of which have earned me money to pay for a house, or a car, or a holiday.

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    1. Yep, success is definitely living the life you want to live....now to just sort out what that is.....hmmm

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  13. I think I've been climbing someone else's mountain! It is good to conciously question what success we are really looking for.

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