I knew I wanted to write today’s post on how to be successful, but I wasn’t exactly sure how I would go about approaching the topic. The more that I thought about it, the more I started thinking of the different areas of my own life where I am successful, or where I have the potential to be. Really, each ‘thing’ needs its own steps (of sorts) to be acknowledged, in order for it to come to fruition. I decided to reflect on my own personal successes that I’ve triumphed over in the past few years, and give a rundown of how I came to be where I am at this given moment. I’m going to focus on three specifically, to keep this post short(ish) and sweet.
1. My “no-negative-crap” mindset. This one took a while to really get a grasp on and conquer, but I think it all fell into place while I was having drinks a couple of years ago with my best friend and my ex-work BFF (A.K.A. Marta and Kat — unfortunately, Kat and I no longer work in the same office anymore, but we still see each other all of the time). They made me lay out everything I was feeling out on the table, from what my daily thought processes were like, to what my reasons for believing certain things were. Because I’m so close with both of these girls, saying these things out loud made me feel really stupid. I found myself reluctant to continue speaking, to admit it all, because I knew that it was ridiculous what I was thinking. I found myself instantly wondering: Why do I hold on to complete nonsense for no reason whatsoever? Why do I insist on dwelling on things that only make me sad? When they told me that it seemed as if I liked torturing myself with these negative thoughts, I had this epiphany.
It was true. It’s almost as if I do… But I don’t! I knew that things had to change immediately, and we did some purging of silly mindsets and (obviously) I needed another drink to just relax and let them take over my brain (and my phone) for a bit. By the end of the day, when I was lying in bed ready to go to sleep, I had this grin plastered on my face and there was absolutely zero tightness in my chest. I hadn’t realized that these thoughts were consuming my mind so much and thus, that it was stressing me out to such a detrimental degree. In this case, the saying that “you don’t realize what you have until it’s gone” was definitely a good thing, and I can’t thank them enough. Although I still tend to sometimes slip into that same negative mindset once in a blue moon, I always keep their words of wisdom in the back of my mind, and guide myself back into the “no-crap” attitude everyone should strive to maintain.
2. Continuing to fit writing into my schedule. Writing is what keeps me going, so it’s a no-brainer that it’s something I need to fit into my life on a near-daily basis, if not every single day. Besides maintaining this blog, I’ve also taken to writing poetry again, as well as writing flash fiction posts on mine and Kat’s blog, Midnight Drafts. It’s really important for me to keep my creativity flowing, as a lack of creativity often leaves me beyond stressed out. It’s been kind of tough to transition back and forth between academic and creative writing while I’ve been in university, but it’s one that I’ve nonetheless had to manage. Midnight Drafts has really helped me to start thinking outside of the box again. Now, when there’s a lull at work, I’ll pull up a Word document or sign into my blog, and write between answering calls and emails. Et voilà! Fitting writing into my daily schedule – easy peasy.
Speaking of, when you write something really good, which takes a hell of a lot of time and dedication, I have discovered that it can lead to double-handed champagne parties (i.e., When my novel Amazing Grace was released by its first publisher in November of 2014).
3. Travel. Perhaps rather impulsively, I’ve been doing quite a bit of travelling in the past few years. I’m not talking about just jumping to the other side of the border to go shopping in Buffalo, NY (which as of November 2016, I’ve vowed not to do until the current president’s impeachment or end of the presidential term), but across the globe, or travel to the other side of the world’s second largest country, as I’m doing right now… HELLO FROM EDMONTON!! For me, travel has become such an integral part of my life, and the more I do it, the more I find myself desperately searching for opportunities to do so. As delusional as it sounds, I legitimately start getting upset thinking that I don’t have another trip coming up or planned whenever one comes to an end. As an example, shortly after I came home from Paris last October, I bought my ticket to Edmonton to visit my family there over Canada’s sesquicentennial; finally seeing the other side of my country in honour of its 150th birthday. Then I found out that two days after I return, I’m travelling all the way to the east coast to Nova Scotia with my family — again, another part of my country that I have never had the pleasure of seeing. I hadn’t even found my way over to the first of my Canadian trips in Edmonton before I decided to book myself a trip to Manchester, England to see my lovely friend Amy Poole. Not to mention I’ve been hounding my best friend to plan a trip to Eastern Europe with me next summer. The ability to see as much of the world as possible is so important to me, especially now while I don’t have the full responsibilities of “adult life” and am able to just pack up and leave for extended periods of time.
I am so grateful to have so many life experiences to think about, and memories to look back on. It gives me so many topics of conversation to carry with people, both because of the cultural knowledge that I have gained, as well as through the gaining of experiences (and thus, stories) to share. As far as travel goes, you can always learn something from each trip you take, whether it is your first time to a particular destination, or the tenth. My experiences with travel seems like quite a bit, but it’s just a small dent in what there is to see; nonetheless, it is something I will never stop expanding, and my ability to figure out how to do that is one of my great successes.
Though these examples are specific to my life, they’ve boosted me emotionally and in turn, physically and mentally. I know for a fact — through lived experience — that if you push for personal success in your life, as well as seek out the successes that you’ve already made (however small they may be as of right now), you’ll feel your self-confidence and overall belief in what you are capable of dramatically increase. This is especially so when you constantly remind yourself of the many things that you have already accomplished, as well as what you are capable of accomplishing in both the near and distant the future. Really, the cliché that you can’t gain anything without some risk is absolutely true. You have to sometimes step out of your comfort zone to be successful. Just remember that when you’re pushing yourself for success, to have fun and not take everything too seriously. 🙂
Share your successes in the comments below! ♥