What Does Success Look Like To You?

What does success look like to you? You have the power to define your own success and take the steps to make it your reality. Starting now. And it really doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.

Think about yourself ten or twenty years ago.  What was your definition of success?  What did you think you had to do, be and have in order to call yourself successful?  How close are you to that definition today?  Have you achieved it?  Did you come close?  Did your priorities change and, therefore, your definition changed?

How do you define success today?  What will you have to do, be and have in order to call yourself successful by the end of this year?  In five years?  In ten years?

Success on Someone Else’s Terms

Our society tends to keep us groping for more.  We’re supposed to want bigger houses, nicer cars, extravagant vacations and lots of fun toys.  This is supposed to make us happy.  It’s all about doing and having with no being in the equation.

You and I both know that this is total BS.  Nothing outside of us will ever make us happy.  (I’ve known many very rich yet very unhappy people to prove this.)

And yet it keeps most people on the hamster wheel of life, running faster and faster, chasing the “happiness” carrot and never getting any closer.

I don’t recall Christ, Buddha or any other deity telling their followers that buying and consuming more stuff is the path to enlightenment.  The message I’ve heard over and over is the exact opposite.

Society’s messages convince us that success is somewhere “out there” and we’re supposed to be running the race to get “there” (wherever “there” is).

It’s Never Enough

Even when we achieve our goals and old definitions of success, we decide that they’re not good enough.  We need more, bigger and better.  We rarely celebrate our achievements.  Instead we beat ourselves up because it wasn’t good enough.

Out of college, my definitions of success were exactly what everyone thought they were supposed to be:  quickly climbing the ladder at a great job, happily married, living in a nice suburban neighborhood in a beautiful, well-decorated house with two beautiful kids running around who did well in school, eventually went to college and repeated your life all over again.

Fortunately I came to my senses and realized how horribly wrong this was for me.  I got as far as the job and marriage and felt that something about the whole picture was wrong.  Even though I subscribed to countless home building and decorating magazines which I read cover to cover, I couldn’t bring myself to actually buy a house.  It simply felt wrong at the time.

At that point I realized that the old programming was all wrong for me but I didn’t know what “right” looked like.

Many people spend their lives knowing that their situation is wrong for them but society, friends and family tell them it’s right because it’s pretty, safe and secure and it’s what you’re supposed to be happy with.  And so they stay, questioning themselves.  Wondering why they’re not happy.  And never doing anything about it.

Finding “Right”

That wasn’t going to be me.  I had too much at stake:  My happiness for the rest of my life.

So I left the great job and the great husband and ventured out on my own.  I had the most amazing experiences, most of them completely out of my comfort zone.  I met amazing people from whom I learned amazing things.

And from years of experiences, I’ve pieced together my own picture of success, my own “right.”

At different points along my journey, I’ve taken the time to write down what my perfect day would look like in as much detail as I could imagine.  I would read it a few times for days after I wrote it.  And over time I kept the vision in my mind.

And life would life along, as it does.

And then a funny thing would happen.

I would pull out that piece of paper and read it again a few years later, after I had pretty much forgotten about it.

And I wept as I realized that I was living that life.  My picture of happiness and success was my actual life and I hadn’t even realized it.

Living Your Own Definition of Success

Morning ‘hanging out’ time at our house – Having coffee & tea together every morning out on the deck followed by a walk through the woods. Success!!

Today I look around on a daily basis and say, “How cool is this!  I have the most amazing life!  This is what I wanted so badly for so long!  And it’s here, right now.”  I smile a very big smile and say a very big “Thank You!” to the Universe.

I know it can only get better from here.

I’ve learned that success is more of a path than a destination.  It’s less about the doing and having and much more about the being.

My biggest success is the person I’ve become along the way, not anything I do or have.  Ironically, I wouldn’t have or do the things I have and do if it weren’t for the person I’ve become.

I’m constantly growing and changing and evolving as I continue along my path.

I have lots of plans for ways to impact the lives of many thousands of people and I’m working on those plans as fast as I can, making sure that I enjoy the ride.

Sometimes my kids ask me how old I’ll be when I die.  My answer is always 104.  When they ask why, I respond, “The longer I live, the more people I can impact.”

What’s your definition of success?  Are you living it?  What would it take for you to realize your dreams?  Take that first baby step today.  Or else…..

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36 Responses to What Does Success Look Like To You?

  1. Pingback: 10 Steps To Create Your Amazing Life

  2. Carl
    Commented:  06/26/2013 at 3:05 am

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    Commented:  03/03/2013 at 1:55 pm

    I’m 26. I’ve been on the Internet since I was 11. I was an outcast in school, special ed until i dropped out in 9th grade due to bulling. I ended up in a program like probation that was next to the school because I broke into an empty house, so I spent most of 9th grade with actual criminals. I got my first computer near the end of 8th grade. I’ve been on it ever since. My parents did nothing to try and change this. I was allowed to drift off into a world that most people never see. And I was never seen. No outside friends or contact, just on line gaming, and repairing and building computers. Despite my problems and this being all I’ve done, these past couple of years my mom would do nothing but belittle me and tell me how much I needed to get a job. Her basis for support begin with: “You’re never going to ” or “You don’t want”. Things didn’t really start to slowly change until my (oldest) brother introduced me to pot in December 2010, which led to a cigarette habit, an alcohol habit, and a cocaine habit. I spent a lot of time with his friends as he took me out there often, and when cocaine became an addiction, I practically lived out there. I had never been so social in my life. By January 2012 I was sick of it all. I had given up cocaine and tobacco for a month. Start smoking again. 2 months later in April I ended up in the hospital with atrial fibrillation. I say things didn’t start to change until all of this because I had a severe social anxiety from when I was a teen and hadn’t met or had any friends for 8 years. I wasn’t going anywhere. Sure, it changed me…but I wouldn’t do this twice. Maybe that has nothing to do with it, maybe I slowly outgrew my anxieties, but I doubt it….I spent a LOT of time around people those 2 years I was out in the country with the friends my brother introduced me to, plus a few others I met at his old job. My kindness was taken for stupidity and I’d say that definitely was a trigger to want to toughen up and become more outspoken. Anyway, when I got out the hospital I quit everything cold turkey, but by August I had picked up pot again, and tobacco. I was disappointed in myself, but ready to make an important change. I decided I wanted to go to school to get my GED, and work keys, and go to college. I’ve also quit smoking cigarettes and I use an e cigarette. I’ve been very successful with this and hope to keep going.. I’ve managed to reduce my pot habit by 80% but that’s not enough for me. My mom was a little supportive about me going to school and working and talking about helping me out with a car since we only had 1, and I have to take my (second oldest) brother to work, and her to work. When I got my diploma, she more or less shunned me and told me to get a job and it’s my responsibility a month and a half before I start college, nice. Finding a job isn’t the hard part since I’ve built and repaired computers all my life, but I live in a country town where you can’t walk ANYWHERE. I’m sure I’m going to miss college at this rate but I no longer care seeing the kind of position I’m in. I don’t get along with my mom, and yesterday my father visited and talked to each of us (strange, we never all had a conversation really). But basically despite all of my mental issues and other problems with my life I’m fine with accepting my responsibility. So here I am, using Google as I’ve always done to try to find a solution with my dilemma. I’m sick of being a loser, which is why I got my diplomas and signed up for college but I’ve come to grips that this is only ever going to matter to me which brings me to my predicament. I’m stuck at home and have no idea what to do. I want to be independent but have no idea where to start at this point since these things took me by surprise. How can I get on with my life?

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  03/03/2013 at 2:22 pm

      It would be impossible to give any kind of thorough advice in the comments of a blog but the first things that came to me were: Move to a new place (away from the negativity and unsupportive habits of your family), get a job working with computers (Geek Squad at Best Buy perhaps?) and surround yourself with the kind of people you want to be – people who will support you in achieving what you want to achieve (not what others think you should do). I personally think that college is highly overrated given what you can learn online and from working with others who do what you want to learn (jobs or apprenticeships).

      What do you believe about yourself? What do you believe is possible for you? What are your core values? How can live your life in alignment with those core values? Take action on your answers as soon as possible.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..My Beliefs Have Hijacked My BrainMy Profile

  3. Pingback: Powerful Ways To Create Your Own Future

  4. Ken Wert
    Commented:  06/28/2012 at 11:18 pm

    Great post, Paige!

    To me, success is living a noble life of human compassion and decency, it’s having a loving family and good friends and making an impact on the world, it’s being a little better than you were the day before and learning to love and forgive and smile and laugh and enjoy the accumulation of moments such that you can look back and feel good about the person you’ve become, the life you’ve lived and the people you’ve touched. If you can do that much, the amount of money in the bank account is meaningless so long as bills can be paid and a degree of security provided. Wealth would be fine. I’d accept it with little hesitation. But it’s not the yard stick I use to measure success.
    Ken Wert recently posted..10 Ways to Change How You Feel: Beating Depression into SubmissionMy Profile

    Nancy Shields
    Commented:  06/26/2012 at 1:40 pm

    Another blog post that impacts lives my friend – you sound like me – I live amazing days and I live an amazing life. I like the idea of writing down what your perfect day would look like – I think I’ll do that. Everyday that I wake up is a perfect day for me for I am doing a job that I love and I created a website to inspire women (MakeGirlfriends.com) so am I living a perfect day everyday – I AM!

    I too want to live impacting and touching lives – I see myself in front of people inspiring them to live the life they deserve to live. Success is not about $$$ – it’s about the lives we touch – that’s success! I have heard this and I will refer to it now – when you are on your death bed will you say I wish I spent more hours at the office?

    Thank you and keep impacting lives my friend,
    Nancy Shields recently posted..THAT’S JUST THE WAY I AM…..My Profile

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  06/27/2012 at 5:09 pm

      Thank you! Thank you Nancy! I love hearing about people like you who are so happy with their lives. One of my big missions is to support as many people as possible to get to that life and way of feeling every day.

      I definitely agree that money does not equal success or happiness, however I think that more money can definitely help me to make a bigger impact on more people’s lives. I have everything I need. I know my life is so much more fulfilling when I help others.

      So let’s keep making our big impacts together! I love what you’re doing at http://www.MakeGirlfriends.com!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..What’s the Meaning of Your Life?My Profile

    Tess The Bold Life
    Commented:  06/25/2012 at 6:31 pm

    HI Paige,
    I love the photo of your family. I do consider myself successful. My idea of it 20 years ago was to keep my head straight as a mom. Check. I wanted happy adult children. Check. I wanted to happy marriage. Check. I wanted a master’s degree in counseling psych. Check. I like you wanted to be a better or more loving person. Check. Check. It’s what I’m the most proud of. I continue to hold my own feet to the fire.

    Now I think success is balancing my on and off line. LOL I spent the last 2-3 months visiting family and friends and a couple other side trips. I’m just coming back on board and it’s taking me a bit to adjust. I want more simplicity. I have everything I need. I only need to remind myself of that when I forget!
    Tess The Bold Life recently posted..Please Don’t Feed Your FearsMy Profile

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  06/27/2012 at 5:02 pm


      I would definitely agree that you are an amazingly successful person on every front!

      It’s funny how many of us spend so much time and energy focusing on being busy and accumulating stuff in our early years only to discover the beauty and ease in simplicity later on. Like you, I’m always looking for ways to simplify.

      Thank you so much for giving so much of yourself and being such an inspiration to all of us!

      Big Hugs!!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..What’s the Meaning of Your Life?My Profile

    Fran Sorin
    Commented:  06/25/2012 at 12:24 pm

    Paige…..What a beautiful post. I think everyone can identify with what you’ve written. It’s part of the human experience to not know our authentic selves until we’ve walked through some fires. We allow ourselves to be led on a wild goose chase…creating goals and going after things that we think will make us happy. Living this way is like being a mouse on a treadmill. Until something painful happens…or you have an epiphany…or whatever. BUT the good news is…the old reality no longer works. And the work of getting to the real you begins in earnest.

    Paige….you are blessed to be happy being who you are and living the life of your dreams. You made it happen. The joy you feel is contagious. What a wonderful legacy for your children. xxoo-Fran

    William Veasley
    Commented:  06/25/2012 at 7:46 am


    This was purely beautiful. I got to the end and was hoping there would be more to read, but that is why there are more posts to come in the future! ( :

    Honestly, success for me has nothing to do with money. Once upon a time, sucess in my eyes was all about money. I mean, its hard not to want the nicer things in life if the nicer things are always what has been glamorized. A lot of the music that I used to listen to talked about having the fancy cars, big houses, pretty girls and a lot of money so it was programmed into my head that success came after I had those, but how wrong I was.

    It was not easy and I had to go through some rough times, but I learned the hard way that my success had nothing to do with money.

    I do not care if I am an average person or a rich person and I do not care if my wealth comes in the form of money. I want to have a wealth of knowledge.

    My definition of success is when I find true happiness and when I am totally at peace with myself. Those start with me and end with me. They have nothing to do with the outside world and I will not let it impact me finding success.

    Money does not give me happiness it gives me joy (short term pleasure). I buy something nice and play with it until I get bored or something better/newer comes out. This becomes a repeated circle of life.

    Anyways, if my success was determined by money then how much money would be enough? Would I be happy with a minimum wage job, an average job, or being rich? What would happen if I lost my money? Would I also lose my happiness?

    These are some question asked myself because your post had me thinking and to get a better understanding of my success, but again great job and keep doing what makes you happy!

    Best wishes,
    William Veasley
    William Veasley recently posted..The Pursuit of HappinessMy Profile

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  06/25/2012 at 1:15 pm

      Those are some very wise words, William. It sounds like you’ve come quite a long way. Huge kuddos to you!!

      I’ve often asked myself what “enough” of many things are. I know millionaires who don’t think they have/make enough and I know people living purely on Social Security who couldn’t be happier. Sometimes not having enough is a way of seeing ourselves as not enough. I’ve been dealing with that one for quite a while (and I’m so done with it). We’re all more than enough. And who defines “enough” anyway?

      You’ve taken the giant step of taking full responsibility for your life, especially when you say, “Those start with me and end with me. They have nothing to do with the outside world and I will not let it impact me finding success.”

      Sounds like you’ve found your happiness and success. I love that!

      Big Hugs!!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Letting GoMy Profile

    Mary Carol
    Commented:  06/24/2012 at 8:06 am

    Hi Paige,

    What an uplifting post! Reading it and the comments made me smile and smile. Thank you!

    I used to occasionally make a list of goals and post it on the fridge. I remember more than once going back a year or so later and realizing that every goal had come true. These weren’t money goals, but lifestyle goals. Now I feel like I’m living an amazing and excellent life every day, and I’m not sure what I’d put on the goal sheet!

    I was lucky that my day job was teaching, which can be frustrating with long hours, but which also carries many intangible rewards. Now that I’m retired, it’s all rewards! I think it’s possible to find a “regular” job that’s truly fulfilling. One of the great joys of my life is that both my children love their work. Everyone finds their own path, and sometimes the trick is to just recognize that where you are IS the right path.

    Hugs to everyone. Your posts are always interesting and thought-provoking, Paige. Thank you!

    Mary Carol
    Mary Carol recently posted..Random QuestionsMy Profile

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  06/25/2012 at 1:09 pm

      Thank you so much Mary Carol! While many people are unhappy in their “regular” jobs, there are plenty, like your children, who love theirs. I just read about a new blog for people who want to pursue their passions and remain in their jobs because they love what they do. Many times it’s simply a matter of matching the right job to the right person.

      Instead of a list of goals, I borrowed an idea from another blogger and put my “2012 Love List” on the fridge. It’s a different take on the goals list as it’s a list of things I would love to have in my life. Some of them kind of look like goals but it widens the door as to the kinds of things we might consider to be goals.

      I’m so happy to hear that your life is all rewards now! That’s beautiful!!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..What’s the Meaning of Your Life?My Profile

    Commented:  06/23/2012 at 5:00 pm

    From Christ: Give us this day our daily bread, seek first the kingdom and all these other things will be yours as well.

    It may be possible to be happy while starving to death, but I don’t think that is a worthy objective.

    My point is that to be alive is to be related to the world beyond our skin – a world of both stuff, critters and people.

    I do agree that pursuing someone else’s definition of success is a recipe for misery. I do think that pursuing luxuries won’t lead to soul level satisfaction.

    My own definition of success: getting wealthy doing what I love. It would be nice if someone else was going to pay me well for doing this, but it looks like it means self-employment. At the moment I am working at doing this via blogging – which allows a good deal of control over my time – which I value very highly.
    Evan recently posted..Self Development Should Be Educational Not MotivationalMy Profile

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  06/23/2012 at 5:27 pm

      Like you, Evan, I want to be wealthy. I think that, the more money I have, the more people I can help. The message that I’m delivering is to do whatever works for you, not what others think is best for you. Your definition of wealth will be very different from others. For some, it’s having enough to live a simple life with no need for more. For others, it’s making millions each year and doing great things with that money. And lots of points in between.

      And, yes, it’s easier if someone else paid us but we would be tied to that person/company, giving up some of the control over our time and other freedoms that most of us value so dearly.

      I wish you wildly amazing success with your blogging and other endeavors!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..What’s the Meaning of Your Life?My Profile

    Lynn Hess
    Commented:  06/23/2012 at 11:46 am

    I couldn’t agree more with everything you’ve said, Paige. I remember being so discontent in my big house in an affluent neighborhood — because I was living the wrong life. I was living someone else’s definition of success, for sure. No matter how hard I tried to make myself fit and just be grateful for what I had, that inner part of me that knows who I really am just wasn’t going to let me keep doing it. I can get annoyed at that inner rebel sometimes, because she can’t seem to suck it up like “everyone else” and she makes decisions that seem really irresponsible — but in the long run I am so grateful for her because she won’t let me hide, fake, or settle for long.

    Now I live in a MUCH more modest home, with a much reduced income…and am one bazillion times happier. I’ll admit I miss having the disposable income to do things I want to do sometimes, but I wouldn’t go back for any amount of money.

    Loved your comment about how “life would life along…” That’s a beautiful image — I’m going to remember that one!

    Thanks for a grounding, centering, great post.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  06/23/2012 at 5:18 pm

      Thanks so much Lynn! I love that inner rebel of yours! She’ll always keep you on the right path.

      I had to laugh when you said that she makes decisions that seem really irresponsible. I thought of the time I had left my high-paying job to work at a dude ranch. I was sitting on the steps to the bunkhouse where I lived talking to my mother on the phone. She asked, “Don’t you think this is all a bit irresponsible?” I replied, “This is the most responsible thing I’ve ever done.” I actually thought her question was rather absurd.

      Keep that rebel rockin’!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Don’t Let Your Dreams Die – Here’s How You Can Help Yourself and Many OthersMy Profile

    Sarah | Holistic Hot Sauce
    Commented:  06/22/2012 at 11:38 pm

    I’ve made choices my whole life that didn’t fit the conventional ideas of ‘success’ – and at times I’ve found myself self-doubting and second guessing whether they were the right decisions. But then all I have to do is pull out a picture album and look at photos of wonderful moments shared with family and friends to remember what an incredibly sweet and successful life it has been! And still is! I love your words here because it’s so important to remember that although we can strive to improve, to offer even more service , it’s so important to remember what we’ve achieved. And for me that is an amazing amount of friendship and love in my life.
    Once again -you hit it out of the park Paige!
    Sarah | Holistic Hot Sauce recently posted..Learn To Love Yourself – Reinvent Self-CareMy Profile

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  06/23/2012 at 4:40 pm

      Thank you so much Sarah! Reflecting on time together with the people we love is priceless. I discovered that while stuck at an office for far more of my life than I wanted, thinking of my kids and my husband and knowing that I could find a way to spend much more time with them. I eventually made it happen and I’ll never go back.

      We all second guess ourselves because of all the years of programming we received and the constant reminders of that program from some of the people around us. I’ve made it a point to limit my interactions with those people.

      You’re an incredibly successful and beautiful person! Keep doing what you’re doing because you seem to be on the best path for you while you support ever-growing circles of people.

      Big Hugs!!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Letting GoMy Profile

    Glori | Crazy Introvert
    Commented:  06/22/2012 at 11:00 pm

    I sincerely think that you can say you’re successful when you can say you have very few regrets in life.

    I do not want to leave a life in which my happiness need to be dictated by material things and what others say will make me happy.

    Even if the decision to be be happy can require big sacrifices, you just have to take for a better life in the long run.
    Glori | Crazy Introvert recently posted..2 Vital Secrets of Happy IntrovertsMy Profile

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  06/23/2012 at 4:14 pm

      Sometimes things that we initially see as sacrifices later become blessings. Everything happens for a reason and maybe that sacrifice is setting you up for something amazingly better. I’ve definitely had that experience a number of times.

      Best wishes with all the big changes in your life as you travel your happiness path!!

      Big Hugs!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..How Committed Are You To Your Dreams?My Profile

    Mike Routen
    Commented:  06/22/2012 at 9:25 pm


    This is so true! I am right on track to being successful according to how society defines success. However, my definition of success has changed dramatically. Now I am backtracking trying to undo so much of what I did chasing someone else’s dream.

    Now my family and I are focused on enjoying our time together and working towards getting free from the job so we can travel. We look forward to our own Hang-out-time as we travel the world.

    Thank you for this reminder of why we are working so hard to make our dreams come true!

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  06/23/2012 at 4:10 pm

      An idea to consider Mike: Think about ways you can implement your “future self” dream into your daily life today. The more we act like our dreams are here today, the more of them actually will appear. How can you implement “hang out time” in your day or evening with your family now? How can you get a little time away (work remotely) and travel while still working your current job?

      Drop little tastes of your dream into your current life. It will make the hard part of the work even more worth it when you already have a little taste.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..5 Steps to Creating Your Awesome LifeMy Profile

    Aileen | Kaizen Vision
    Commented:  06/22/2012 at 2:22 pm

    I have to quote Vidya, “I don’t miss the four inch heels, twenty shades of lipstick in a mini carousel” 🙂

    Today success looks wildly different than it did for me 20 years ago. I never did achieve that version of success, but I’m profoundly grateful that I’ve achieved such deeply satisfying happiness. If someone told me 20 years ago that happiness was more important than success I would have completely disagreed. Success was everything – but it was ever so unattainable and it seemed to take me further and further away from joy, bliss, freedom, personal empowerment & happiness. We can chase an illusionary dream until it destroys us if we don’t listen to the quiet beautiful truth within.

    Loved reading your post!
    Aileen | Kaizen Vision recently posted..The Truth About CourageMy Profile

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  06/23/2012 at 4:04 pm


      Listening to our “quiet beautiful truth within” is definitely the key to happiness. Like you, I initially bought into the lie that, when we achieve success (whatever that was), then we’ll be happy. But the target constantly moves and the more we don’t achieve, the unhappier we become – as you experienced.

      I’m so happy that you’ve achieved true success – deeply satisfying happiness! You help so many people in so many ways. I’m very grateful for you.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Why I Listen To The Voices In My HeadMy Profile

    Betsy at Zen Mama
    Commented:  06/22/2012 at 11:23 am

    I love your story and it’s an inspiration to others!! Success for me as been having a wonderful family life including my siblings and parents in that! Having a wonderful husband and kids, being able to live in a house that we own, creating a lovely garden for family meals, helping others through teaching and my books and blog… these are my successes! There isn’t always a lot of money involved but as you can see, money is not my idea of success.
    Thanks for an inspirational post and the great reminders about success!

    PS Love the picture of your deck, husband and kids!
    PSS I’m living to 113!
    Betsy at Zen Mama recently posted..CAUTION: You May Be In Danger Of Catching Adultitis… Read Here To Save Yourself and Others!My Profile

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  06/22/2012 at 1:54 pm

      I have to agree with you that “money is not my idea of success.” While a little more is always nicer, that’s not what life is all about. With all that you described here and everything I know about you, you’re incredibly successful! Your family sounds so awesome!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..How Committed Are You To Your Dreams?My Profile

    Vidya Sury
    Commented:  06/21/2012 at 9:37 pm

    I have a similar story, Paige, as you know. Most of the time, it is about just looking inside ourselves and our immediate surroundings. Changing that perception, if necessary, literally resolves all problems.

    For me, quitting my corporate job brought no regrets. In fact, when I got married, my husband’s income was far lower than what I had earned. Yet we were very happy. I only had a twinge of regret when we had to budget everything, especially after our son came along – babies are sooo expensive! Around the same time, Mom was diagnosed with interstitial lung disease and that meant frequent hospital trips that all cost a fortune. That was the only time I felt bad about not bringing in an income that would have easily taken care of our expenses. But I remember doing my T chart with the “if i went to work” and “if I didn’t” and you know what? The “If i didn’t go to work” column shone because it meant I would be with my Mom, my baby and be able to personally look after them. Spend time with my husband and so on. Nothing equals that happiness. And so I stuck to that vision of all of us smiling – and that was Success for me. A full heart. Our own good health that helped us look after Mom. The love we all shared and the good times we had in spite of the difficulties we could not avoid.

    Soon enough, I also found work that barely paid, but continued to let me be with my family. Eventually, keeping my mind open to possibilities and exploring my own “talents” helped me settle into the freelance writing niche, which is simply perfect at this time, as it lets me work from home.

    What can I say? I don’t miss the four inch heels, twenty shades of lipstick in a mini carousel or dressing formally with three suits a day. Because I definitely don’t miss being on tour 20 days a month and in the remaining ten, leaving early and coming back late.

    A full heart. That’s what I seek now. I have it.

    Lovely post, as always. Hugs!
    Vidya Sury recently posted..Up, Up and Away!My Profile

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  06/22/2012 at 1:51 pm

      Once again, Vidya, I think we were somehow twins separated at birth. 😉 I wore the suits, traveled and worked long hours while I made three times what I’m making now. And the whole time I hated spending so much time away from my family. After a while, like you, I realized that kind of income was very expensive for my family and me. It costs us too much time, missed moments and joy together.

      Like you, I’m putting together ways of creating more income that work for my family and our successful lifestyle. More money always makes things a little easier but it can’t replace our close relationships.

      You have one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever experienced and it’s wonderful to know how full it is. You are such a blessing to everyone you touch.

      Big Hugs!!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Can the Multi-Generational Family Solve Our Need for Connection?My Profile


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