I haven’t been present in my life lately. Even though I have had so much to say, thoughts about my work, business, friends and family started rushing through my mind the minute I touched the keyboard. As a creative person, sometimes I feel as though I am a goldfish – my attention span is incredibly short. However, my to-do list keeps growing and not much gets ticked off.
As I’m writing this, a beautiful and sunny day is gracing Michigan. Hence, I decided to take some time off for myself. I say some time off because yes, I still woke up at 6:30 am to work for two hours before I headed to a spin class and took the afternoon off. Nevertheless, the mere fact that I took a break was a big deal because last year I didn’t take many. In turn, this caused me to miss out on a lot of fun that comes with the beautiful summers in Michigan.
I missed being myself.
However, it wasn’t only that – when I was hanging out with friends, I was either exhausted, not present, or worrying about the hot mess of work I was going to have to do just because I took some time off. I wasn’t focusing, I wasn’t myself, and overall I wasn’t the Lisa I love. I started to miss her.
Just like everyone, I made a list of New Year’s Resolutions of my own. The main point was to be more present and actually enjoy my life. We often hear the hustle mottos of “work while everyone is sleeping” or “success comes to those who hustle.” While I 100% believe these hold some valuable truths, we still have to remember to take some time off for self-care. Taking care of yourself is the best gift you can give yourself.
Over the past couple of years, I have loved to research and learn from other successful people.
I like to read about their journeys, advice they give and also about their failures that came with it. One day, I came across an article that made me really think. Even though I can’t remember the successful woman’s name, I do remember that she is a millionaire at the age of 40. She gave some advice that has stuck with me… it was to not waste away your years working because you will miss out on what is right in front of you.
She advised to take breaks, travel, and enjoy moments with the ones who matter the most to you. Moreover, she told me that she mostly regretted missing out on being with friends, laughing, being present and events with those she loved.
That advice was shocking to me because it wasn’t what I normally read. I sat and reread it and then I thought about my life. It amazed me how difficult her advice was to understand. I was focusing so much on money, working on building my company, working side jobs to build it, and do a million other things at once that I was missing out on super important things like a bike ride with a friend or a birthday party of someone who could pass away in the blink of an eye.
So what is the definition of success?
One friend always reminds me that I need to stop having fun in order to get ahead in life. While he might be right in his eyes, I think we each have to decide what success means to us. If being a millionaire means I would miss out on my best friends’ big events or that exhaustion would ruin my presence if I did show up, then I really need a reality check.
So, today I focused on being with friends. I started putting the phone down and playing with my puppy that desperately needed attention. Most importantly, I focused on getting enough sleep. I shut the phone and computer down for more than a few hours and enjoyed just being present.
At the end of the day, we all want to be successful. We all want to make it “big” in our lives. However, my goal is to impact as many people as I possibly can.
So don’t forget to be present. You are enough and you have to define your own success.