Thursday, April 28, 2011

What's Your Happiness-Success?

About every 6 months or so I get in a mental mode of self evaluation.  I get really critical about my life choices and I analyze all my levels of success in terms of happiness and all the factors that make up my own definition of happiness.  My dad once told me, "You really need to lighten up or else you're going to give yourself an ulcer."  There may be some truth to that, but I prefer wigging out on occasion. 

What are the factors that define my happiness-success?

1.  Love/Marriage
2.  Career
3.  Education
4.  Friendship
5.  Creativity

1.  Love/Marriage - Although Career and Education have outweighed Love/Marriage in the past for me in terms of their level of personal importance in determining my happiness-success, this year Love/Marriage wins ten-fold and probably will from this day forward.  It is only right and fair (and let's face it, natural) that my happiness-success in Love/Marriage is absolute priority.  I don't mean only for myself, but also for my sweet Sparky.  With our wedding out of the way, we are now focused on building EVEN MORE strength in understanding, listening, and trust.  So far so good; although not perfect.  I would never want it to be perfect to the point of heartless and soulless.  There will always be a challenge to some degree but I'd definitely rate my current state of happiness-success in Love/Marriage pretty high.  I don't have worries in this factor and I'm pretty grateful for it.

2. Career -  I desperately wanted to lump Career and Education together based on my current feelings about both factors right now.  But, after a bit of thought, I realized they definitely needed to be kept separate.  In my past I had been driven on being successful professionally.  There was a time I was really driven on being the best based on performance which quickly turned into being driven by money.  Luckily, my outlook on money and value changed even though I am still attempting to recover from some of the mistakes made in that period of time.  Some of my past choices got me off track not only financially, but also with other paths.  My level of fulfillment in my everyday Career is not being met.  Something has to change and a lot of it has to due with my personal outlook and attitude toward the situation. 

I am not saying I need to quit my job and I a am not saying that I will quit my job.  These are not the right answers to my questions currently.  I actually really do enjoy my job and find quite a bit of value in a lot of my tasks.  I need more though; I need a challenge.  I am searching for a bit more fulfillment and that is a personal battle that I need to overcome.  My goal is to "Work to live, NOT live to work", but there still needs to be value, challenge, and success in that work.

3. Education - Education is a heavy weight on my mind right now and has been for a few months.  Continuing my education on the Graduate level and eventually earning a Ph.D has been a dream for me.  I've doubted myself so much in the past to the point that this dream was just completely out of reach.  I have been revisiting this idea a lot lately and Sparky has been incredibly encouraging about me going for it.  People go back to school all the time and work full time concurrently;  I'm in awe and envious of these amazing individuals.  I'm doubting debating my ability to do this but I just don't think I will ever be satisfied on my happiness-success if I don't strive to continue my education.  This factor will eat away at me and give me an ulcer if I don't do something.

4. Friendship - I have lost many friends over the last few years.  Good friends are difficult to come by as you get least for me.  I've questioned who I am a lot due to my relationships with my girl friends.  I haven't lost friends to anything drastic as death; I've lost friends simply to life.  My losses can be summed up to the typical reasons such as  distance, growing apart, and that people change.  I can also say I've lost friends to deceit and those are the losses that have really resonated with me and shaped me.  I value friendship so much now and it is so difficult for me to trust and make new girlfriends.  I always have a wall up and I always question others intentions due to my past friendships.  The friends I do have are my family.  I would do anything for these peeps.

5. Creativity - AHHH!!  I need to be creative.  I need to be surrounded by creativity.  I need to breathe creativity!  My creative soul seems to never sleep inside me.  My biggest problem is letting it out for others to see.  I have so much CONSTANTLY brewing, stewing, jumping, turning, and screaming inside my head and heart.  I haven't been feeding my creativity very well lately and it is making me restless.  There is a lot of writing, reading, photographing, and organizing that needs to be brought to fruition!  Some advice from someone who needs to take her own advice:  Feed your creativity!

These are my top concerns currently of what fulfill me in terms of success.  There is a lot in life I want to accomplish and a lot of life I want to create.  My biggest obstacle always has been and will continue to be only myself.  The best thing I have going for me is my attempts to be self-aware.  I may doubt, question, and over-analyze myself in so many ways, but it only makes me want to be a better version of myself. 

I hope this has helped anyone going through the same battles.  I know I am not alone in self battles and struggles.  What's Your Happiness-Success?

Keep on Keepin on.

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