Friday, March 11, 2016

How Do You Define Success?

suc·cess (səkˈses) 1. noun the accomplishment of an aim or purpose

I was recently asked: How would you define a successful day at work? My immediate thought was: when someone doesn't die (I'm a nurse, in case you were wondering). But my verbal answer was something along the lines of: I have two different types of successful days. The first type of day is when everything goes smoothly. When my paperwork basically completes itself, all of the patients are pleasant, nurses are able to do work without much assistance, and I don't leave with (someone else's) poop on my pants (or my own, I guess). 

The second type of successful day are the ones that don't really feel like success, but they are in their own way. They're the days when everything seems to be going wrong: I don't have time for paperwork and weekly reports because I'm training a new nurse and three patients have had a bowel movement and one is in respiratory distress. The doctor needs me to round with him and there's a code on second floor. These days leave me feeling frazzled, but also with a sense of accomplishment, because maybe in the moment I didn't feel great, but at the end of the day I was still able to help, teach, and comfort other people.



Many people define success differently. You may define success as having a house, a car, and a stable job - while others may define success as having the vocational freedom to travel, work per diem, freelance, and ride a bike. When it comes to finances, success for me means being able to put money in my savings account every month while still being able to enjoy an occasional dinner or evening out with my husband. 

When it comes to my blog, I define success as having genuine interaction and conversation with readers. Someone asked on a blogging support group, how do you define success in the blogging world? Yes I enjoy it when a post gets many page views (but to be honest I only check my "stats" about once a week) and it definitely makes me smile when I get a lot of likes on my instagram posts. But I think real success, for me, is the amount of influence my post has. If there's genuine conversation and interest in what I have to say. 

Success also means reaching my personal goals. A successful week for me looks like: getting to work on time every day AND eating a nutritious breakfast, having a blog post pre-scheduled for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and going to the gym at least four times per week before work. It means having stimulating conversations with my husband rather than getting lost in our respective screens for hours at a time. It means cooking balanced meals in the evenings rather than ordering pizza. It means that on Friday nights, I go to bed thinking, "wow, what a great week". 

I think it's so awesome that success can be defined in so many ways. It's awesome that one person's success doesn't invalidate another person's, even if their opinions of what "success" means are totally opposite. 

How do you define success with your blog? Your daily life?

16 comments:

Autumn @ The Unreal Life said...

This may be something too specific which you don't want to share, but just curious -- do you work in a specific unit of a hospital as a nurse? Just wondering more about nursing and whether you were trained to work in a certain area (ER, peds, etc), or if you have moved around within nursing.

That's so great that you're already training other nurses -- how rewarding!

Esther Freedman said...

For me, success is definitely in the journey and the trying. As long as you're working hard and trying new things, that's success!

Sara said...

It is so important to not define success but what everyone else's version looks like. If I am comparing, then I find myself dissatisfied and not appreciating the awesome stuff happening in my life.

Angela Tolsma said...

this is a great outlook, defining your success. I define my blog success but the feelings I get after writing a post and the interaction that post brings. The release of stress in the freedom of writing. Daily life, it's working out, eating healthy and having a pleasant atmosphere!

Ashten @ Just Go Left said...

This totally got me thinking about success and what it means to me. I think, to me, success means that I get through my day with style, grace and a little humor and that I choose joy even when it's hard.

Kayla MKOY said...

I think you're so right - success is about the influence you have on others (like you said, in the blog world, and in real life) and I love this post, girl!! So smart.

Lisa @ Naptime Chai said...

I consider a successful day one in which Clara and I both survive without me losing my mind completely, and a successful blog post (I agree with you) is one in which I enjoy writing and inspires some sort of conversation!

The Rachael Way said...

Well said, and very thought provoking! I guess I consider a successful day one in which I feel happy, content, had some time for creative expression and also felt like I was a good teacher!

Laura Beth said...

Great post - really makes me want to start out my week productive! And makes me think ... this week will be a success for me if I have a clean desk by Friday!!

Shannon said...

I think what I need to do in my life is this exact thing - define success in my life. I think it would give me a more positive and encouraging outlook every day. Most of the time I never feel like my day has been too productive or successful. I just deem them as "just another day."

Christine Everyday said...

I really love this post. And I definitely think you are a success! Congrats on training others.

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