SHOESLACES & SUCCESS

When you are a kid, say around five or six years old, success is pretty simple and uncomplicated at the heart of it. Success at five years old is as simple as FINALLY being able to tie your shoe laces. You remember that don’t you? That first time squealing because you got your fingers stuck in double knot you magically tied around them, now wondering why your fingers are turning purple and they feel cold and foreign at their tips. At times during the learning process getting confused as to wear the bunny goes and why you should be tying knots in a poor bunnys ears in the first place. For a long while you would throw yourself to the floor or stomp your feet yelling that you’ll ‘NEVER BE ABLE TO DO IT!!!’ Then that magical day comes and finally the bunny goes where it’s suppose to with no injury to anyone, leaving you jumping and giggling and squealing with unhindered glee. The definition of success really begins to change after that though and continues to change throughout each stage of your life.

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When you are a teenager success really is quite variable dependant on what drives you or what your conditioning is. For some (me when I was a teenager), success is clearly dependant on achievements at school. The depth of success hinged on whether you aced your exams, got excellent marks, and whether you favourite teacher and parents recognised your potential for great things as an outcome of being an exceptional academic performer. This was also applicable to the success desired in those that were athletic and their sporting achievements. For other teenagers success was highly dependant on friendships and relationships in school, sometimes particularly on their popularity ranking. Their desire for public and societal acceptance was first and foremost the most important aspect for feeling successful. It was easy at this time of life to judge the other for their personal success definition but in reality it is a confusing and ahem….interesting time in each of our lives – no right, no wrong, just is. Just when we figure out what we are sure success is we grow up and for some become parents, and although some still have strong definitions on the meaning of success, parenthood often flips everything on its head.

For many, becoming a parent is a great success in itself however for just as many we begin to think both our success and sanity in those first months! When the chaos and change settle into our new norm however our definition of success begins to shift toward this new chapter. Now the mere hint of a baby who feeds well, sleeps, and is healthy is our new success. The first crawl, walk and word fills our conversations. When they grow it is their ability to be resilient, independent and their ability to stick it to the man and create their life their own way – hindered not by unfair societal confines or limitations. (Okay that last bit applies to my experiences as a mother of a strong child but that’s for another time). It is however important to celebrate also our successes in our careers too.

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Last night I attended a beautiful awards night for the company I work for – my ‘day job’ and one that I’m overwhelmingly passionate about. It’s an exclusive night only open to award winners in 6 divisions, 20 year employees, general managers, and executives. We get a beautifully catered dinner, a band, accommodation in a five star hotel, and a buffet breakfast that is more like a restaurant (first time I’ve ever had a Japanese Chef cook me my own gourmet omelette in front of me). I got the priveledge of going as an award recipient of an Innovation Award for Safe Work. The reason I received this was for the Quit Program I implemented across the company throughout Queensland with Q-Healths Quit Program. Many people have now either quit smoking or are on their way with a new determination and it costs them nothing. The way I see it, healthy health care workers equal a healthy health care system. The award now gives me $1,500 – to implement a new program which I have already thought out and will get moving on soon. I digress. So this award really is one of the highlights in my 13 year long health career journey and it gives me a feeling of success at this time in my life. However when I returned to my sunny Sunshine Coast it dawned on me that success is transient in nature.

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As I walked along the waters edge with my family breathing in the salt water, sun dancing on the water like diamonds, I realised the fact that I am just as successful because of this moment, the love that surrounds me, the days that stretch before me.

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How do you define success?

THE GIVER

What a fascinating tale, although in saying that there are some very distinct concept that mimic realities to our projected future should the keepers of this earths Matrix get their way.

The belief held by the elders in this movie is scarily similar to the growing beliefs held by governments all over the world. The leading elder said “When people have the freedom to choose they choose wrong”, which is a common thread in many of the decisions our governments make for us that are a little left of democratic in nature. My husband and I talked about this in the car on the way home from the cinema and we both believe that Australia is becoming a police state. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in guidelines, but I don’t believe in forcing people to align to a central belief ‘for the greater good’ when it impacts their own wellbeing and core self.

“No losers, and no winners……….so there would be no conflict between us”. This one of the quotes from the movies and makes me ponder, what if we didn’t have any winners or losers? What would life be like? I guess in a sense there would be less conflict as people lose the need for ‘keeping up with e Joneses’ or being the best at anything. It does pose the question however about whether we would be as content with no healthy competition either.

It would be a beautiful world if we could lose the unhealthy competition though – you know, the I’m a better spouse, business, parent, friend, advocate. It’s that competition that I feel has had the greatest impact on my life and the lives of so many others. An example of this is me creating my health coaching business. Many of you know that I’m a nurse, studying to get my Personal Trainer qualifications, and then integrative nutrition quals, and am really passionate about a lot of areas in health, but my most passionate area is in chronic disease prevention, and chronic disease recovery. I really want to show and guide other people to take control of their wellbeing and their lives and reassure them that you don’t have to own and be a disease but can overcome it or take power from where you are at the time. However for a long time I’ve been looking at and building my business in a templates way, by looking at how others are structured, purely out of fear of not being good enough when in reality my business is nothing like the others and I need to embrace the difference in it. And that I am both in business and in self – I have a lot to offer the world and am worthy regardless.

On another note there was another quote from the movie that really resonated for many reasons “Don’t accept something as the truth just because its from someone you respect”. As a child who grew up in a time where some still thought children should be seen and not heard and family issues were not discussed outside the home, I never questioned what I was told and accepted everything as truth. What folly that was as when i needed to be heard the most at 4, 13, and 18 when I was sexually abused, I didn’t have a voice and was just a moment away from taking my own life. But I knew nothing different until I was strong enough emotionally to leave such situations behind and step into a better place, at which time I stood up and claimed some of my life back.

I no longer blindly believe as truth that which someone I may or may not respect as truth, because let’s face it – a truth to one may be shaped and moulded by that persons perspectives and experiences. I liken it to someone looking at different sides of a book. One is looking at the front of the book and can only see the title, author, cover picture, and a few other details, but is unlikely to find any clear information as to the storyline. The other is looking at the back of the book and can see an overview of the contents of the book and a few other things. Clearly it’s the same book, but each person takes something else away from its face value. The valuable lesson I have taken from this experience in life is to raise my daughters to be fearless speakers of their own truth and to live what they believe without taking on some of societies unwarranted restrictions. I want them to be able to sit with information or ideas and really feel if they fit them or if its purely someone else’s.

I think history shows significant examples of when societal compliance has impacted the world in a detrimental way even if I do believe everything is for a reason. I for one though do not want to be just a pawn in the matrix game of chess. I’m more of a divergent – but that’s another post….

Ps….you will have to go see “The Giver” or wait til it comes out on DVD to see the awesome ending – I don’t do spoils lol.