Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit

Tuesday’s Business: What is Success?


This post is prompted by a possibility that the universe brought to me.  A possibility to significantly increase my wholesale business.  And in the course of conversation with various people, a question was also presented to me:

What is success?

Ironically, when I was listening to an Eric Maisel podcast last week, Maisel said the following:

Success is not a measure but a feeling.

These words have made me pause and have factored into my decision making process regarding this situation.

Each one of us, potentially, has a different definition of success.  It might be defined monetarily.  It might be defined by the size of your house or by a job title.  However, Maisel’s definition of success opens up many more possibilities.

If success is a feeling and not a measure, then success can come from that great dinner you made on Sunday, from playing with your kids, or from the wonderful construction idea you developed for your newest piece of art.

It can come from any accomplishment, small or large.

I think where we getted tripped up as a society and as individuals is not recognizing, not acknowledging, the small things we do everyday.  Did you empty the dishwasher?  Congratulations to you!  Did you take a baby step toward an overall goal? Excellent, pat yourself on the back.  Did you get out of bed without tossing your alarm clock?  Woo-hoo!

Sound silly?  I thought so too…until I realized that if I don’t, if we don’t acknowledge the small things we achieve every day who will?

Is it possible to get carried away with this approach?  Maybe, but I bet you’ll have fun doing it.  Think of it as a form of self-care.

As I’ve been contemplating this possibility, I’ve taken time to reflect on my accomplishments and feelings of success.  This has helped me to define what success means to me and what it means for my business.  And it definitely factors into my decision making process.

I’ve asked myself and now I ask you: Are you feeling successful?

8 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Business: What is Success?

  1. Amy,

    At my age, I have often thought about the word “success” when it comes to my life. My sucess has come from knowing I’ve been a good, loving mother and grandmother. I feel like I’ve been a good teacher to my children who now have families of their own. You’re right….it IS a feeling. Although I’m still learning, I feel a sense of accomplishment knowing I’ve done my best.


  2. Amy, great post. Successful? Yes… I am feeling successful. I juggle so many roles in my life (full time job, mom, wife, chef, sister, daughter, friend and artist (why is that last?) ) and I believe I do carry out each and every one of those roles, as I play them, 100% at the time they need the attention. Now, do I wish that full-time Artist was first on my list, yes I do.. but right now, success is feeling pretty good to me. Thanks for the opportunity to respond. See you soon.

  3. “Woo-hoo” indeed! Thank you for this post, it has helped to remind me that I can’t always control what happens but I can decide how I feel about it, eg the down turn in the economy. Therefore I can be a success in so many ways each day. I need a little reminder every now and again.

  4. This so falls into line with my own vague dissatisfaction on the job for the past couple of years, and made me realize something: although I work in a department that claims to be supportive, I can’t remember the last time we celebrated or even acknowledged someone’s success, major or minor. I think I am going to start bringing these things up, by email and in meetings. Which means I’ll have to discover exactly what my colleagues are doing and succeeding in… hmmm. Radical thought. But also including myself: acnowledging small things that are success. Yesterday it was doing a shoulder stand for the first time in yoga class: go, me!

  5. Great post, Amy! What keeps coming up for me lately (and you, too, I think) is this concept of small steps. If I reframe everything according to this concept then maybe I won’t have such unrealistically high expectations of myself all the time. Then I can get excited about all of the small successes I achieve everyday, like brewing a cup of tea in the morning or going for a walk after work.

  6. Hi Paula and Judy: Yea for feeling successful! This is especially important as mothers.

    Hi Janis: You’re welcome for the reminder. Little accomplishments are just as important as the big ones.

    Hi Pearl: Excellent idea to encourage your department to celebrate successes. And big congratulations on achieving shoulder stand in yoga. Woo-hoo!

    Hi Karen: Yes, small steps are important and your introducing me to the concept of Kaizen really helped.

    Thanks everyone for your comments.


  7. Great post, Amy ! I called in sick today from my temp job (nasty cough and sore throat), so I’m spending some ‘bonus’ time on the computer this morning. During my 28 years as a speech pathologist in a public school system, I seldom felt ‘successful’. I always felt overwhelmed and overworked. And it seemed that the only way my employer rewarded hard work was with-you guessed it-MORE WORK ! Now that I’m retired, I still struggle with the concept of success, but I’m learning to acknowledge and celebrate ‘little victories’, such as getting a blog up and running, learning digital photography, etc.

  8. Hi Dora,

    I think starting your blog and learning digital photography are super success! I understand what you mean about feeling successful as an SLP. I had similar experiences during my years as an SLP. Most families were very appreciative but it was always hard to tell with employers.

    Keep celebrating those little successes!


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