For the past few days, I’ve been thinking about success, or the lack thereof.

Maybe it’s because we just attended the funeral of a beloved relative, and I’ve been thinking about a life well-lived.

Maybe it’s because we are going through a series called “30 Days to Live” at our church, and I’ve been thinking about what is most important in my life.

Or maybe I’m just a bit discouraged.

It’s not that I feel that I’m unsuccessful. I just can’t point to anything I am doing with my life right now that is at a level where I am feeling success.

In fact, I can think of about five areas in my life where I would like to see success. In a few of these areas, I simply am too overwhelmed just trying to get through my daily activities to devote the time and energy that would be necessary to get good results.

In a few other areas, I have been putting in some effort, and I haven’t seen the results I would like. In all of these areas, I have been tempted to give up. I want to quit so I don’t even have to think about it anymore. Just move on.

But then I had a thought. What if someone told me they were able to see my life one year from now. And they saw me achieving enormous success in one of these areas. How would I act then?

If I knew that by giving the appropriate amount of time and energy to something I really wanted that the result was going to be huge success, wouldn’t I be so much more motivated? What if I started acting NOW like I was already successful.

Instead of walking around with my head down, apologizing to myself for my lack of success, what if I started pretending I was already the person I want to be?

Hmmm. Maybe I shouldn’t quit so easily?

Well, I have lots more to say about success, so stay tuned. But in the meantime, I would love to hear from you. Are you feeling successful at anything right now? And if so, at what?

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  1. Hi Emily, I soo understand what you mean about not feeling successful at the moment. I'm soo there. My inner critic voice can be very mean to me. I know I'm really good in some areas & ok in others but that voice can just make all that seem less.I love your idea of imagining your life a year from now with huge success – it's all about putting it in your mind, making the decision to be successful & then just doing a little bit at a time. (Some say it's about putting it out to the universe too)So don't quit! You CAN do it!!Good luck with your decision! Laurel

  2. Well, as you know, I am not very successful at jogging. :)I think sometimes God smacks us Type As around to get us to realize the often the process IS the product. The process in our lives–and the pain and realization of how short we are of the desired "product" (holiness, patience, wisdom, whatever)–keeps us focused on him. And in a day where nothing gets done but the baby fed and changed, that is a significant and useful day. Or so I keep telling my Type A self. Blessings, Holly

  3. Ok… I thought of another thing while I was getting ready to go to work… you are very successful! You are raising 4 kids, you are a stay at home Mom with a successful Discovery Toys business; you have a new baby & are Home Schooling your kids… that's more than what lots of us can do (more than what I can do anyway)Just had to say that part too:)Laurel

  4. Emily – I think Holly hit the nail on the head about process vs. product and how hard it is for us Type A's to see that.I recently read a little of Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers and his theory of 10,000 hours really rings true here. His research showed that anyone outstanding in their field had put in about 10,000 hours of focused effort before they reached success. So I've taken that perspective and started counting the seemingly meaningless steps each day as logging some of those hours. I think that fits in with your one-year-from-now perspective. Great topic! Can't wait to hear more!

  5. Thanks for the encouragement, Laurel! I actually did a lot of processing as I wrote a few posts on this topic… more to come…Holly and Lara… good thoughts… I hadn't really thought about how type A's don't consider the process as important as the product. That is definitely something to mull around in my overly-analytical head! =]

  6. I haven't read the book "The Secret" but from what I've heard, that what's it's all about. Positive self talk. The "universe" hears what you are thinking and it doesn't understand words like don't and can't. So if I say I'm going to go to bed with a clean house then the universe has the picture of a clean house and me sleeping contentedly. If I say I won't eat that donut. The universe can only picture me eating the donut. So I say I'm eating salad and brown rice and carrot sticks. I don't believe in "the universe" but I do believe in positive self talk. (It works with kids too, it just kills me when I hear someone say "my kid hates (fill in the blank)" They believe you and you believe you too so you better be saying good stuff about yourself. Maybe I should get back to blogging so my comments won't take up your whole website ;]

  7. Recently a friend lent me the book "The Traveler's Gift" by Andy Andrews. It talks about the same things you touch on here. It was a very interesting read, and in a lot of ways, inspiring. Super easy read.Michele

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