I truly can’t believe I’m only just now getting around to sharing this post as I actually was inspired to write it after listening to this podcast over the summer last year! As background, after moving to Brooklyn Heights, I started a little weekend tradition of getting a coffee and muffin at my local deli and then heading to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade to listen to podcasts and I was really struck by Lewis Howes’ thinking around keys to a successful life.
Lewis’ podcast can be a bit much at times (I love inspirational talks but I definitely don’t listen to all his episodes.) That being said this podcast really spoke to me particularly because I’ve been having conversations with friends recently about how we define success. I know people who think success is defined by getting married and having kids. (And a select few who look down on me for not having yet reached these milestones). And I know people who think career is the only way to define success. Or wealth. When you think about it, there truly are so many ways to measure success but I really liked the ones outlined in the podcast. They measure it more with heart than with stereotypical standards.
1. Share your talents
Find meaning in your talents and cultivate new talents. I love the idea of making use of your talents and using them in ways of both personal development and also to aid others.
2. Go after a dream
Having dreams is so important. I remember when I worked a corporate job when we set goals they were always supposed to be S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time- bound) but goals and dreams are similar yet different, right? I dreamt of going to college. I dreamt of moving to New York. I dreamt of working for myself. Having a dream you’re working towards is a powerful thing. It motivates and it gives meaning!
3. Grow your mind
Learn new skills, seek new experiences. Our greatest happiness comes when we are learning, being challenged and seeking new opportunities. Sometimes fear of failing can prevent us from expanding our horizons. And getting stuck can be so easy! It can feel overwhelming to start the process of feeling un-stuck. (This I know.) But seeking new opportunities, working for new experiences..it is so worth it! It’s why I take opportunities to travel when I can and why I take on new challenges that will make me think in different ways. It’s also part of why I enrolled in French classes this year!
4. Find friends who inspire you
Those you spend time with should challenge you & lift you up. I’ve talked about this on the blog this year but don’t spend time with people that pull you down, that are consistently negative, dramatic or catty. Spend your precious time with people where the friendship is mutually beneficial. Those of my friends I am closest with are the ones who inspire me, challenge me and support me. I try to always do the same for them.
5. Take care of your body
The podcast quotes Jim Rohn saying“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” It couldn’t be more true. I’ve had several experiences in life related to my health that have really made me realize both how amazing yet also fragile our bodies are. We only get one body and taking care of it should always be a priority. I’m so glad I’ve found ways to make me enjoy working out (a variety of classes) and that this year I’m working to prioritize giving my body more nutrients. I’ve never been great at looking at food as fuel but I’m working to change that this year.
6. Live in gratitude
Start looking at your life and see what you’re appreciative of. See the good in tough situations. Find perspective in your life. The world of social media has made it so easy to constantly find yourself wanting what other have. It can lead to really toxic thoughts. It remains more important than ever to live in gratitude and be grateful for the things you have. I am so grateful for my family + friends, my little apartment, my employment and all the opportunities afforded me. I think of these things often and say little thank yous to God for them.
7. Be of service to others
This is something we talked a lot about in college (I went to a Jesuit university). Service-based learning was part of our curriculum and I had some amazing experiences with volunteer work as a result. I’m trying to find ways to be more of service to others aside from monetarily. It is one of my goals for this year. I also always try to pay it forward with mentoring and networking as a way of being of service to others.
So what do you guys think? Do you agree with the keys to a successful life?
Quick note about this jumpsuit – I had no idea how much I would end up loving the fit of it! It looks great without anything layered underneath it but I also love that with something underneath it I can wear it year round. It has a modern meets 70s vibe and the material is lovely in person. I can’t wait to wear it out again soon! I also love this similar one and may keep my eyes on it for to go on sale. I have a few more styles below and really loved the price and the fit of this one in particular, too!
Sezane Blouse (last seen here; love this similar one) // Club Monaco Jumpsuit (wearing my usual size 6) // M. Gemi Mary Janes // Bag // Signet Ring (wearing size 4)
More Cute Jumpsuits:
p.s. thoughts on boredom and creativity and my new habits for 2018.
This is a really great look on you, and I love what you’ve hit on in this post. I think often about what it means not just to feel successful but what it means to just be happy. Lately I’ve focused less on setting goals and have just been spending more time with people (which sometimes gets pushed to the side when I’m too focused on achieving specific tasks). I like what you wrote about gratitude too and often think of one of my favorite quotes.– “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.”
I LOVE that quote! Couldn’t be more true. And completely agree with you regarding the sentiment of success v. happiness. I’m actually working on a post about being less busy and how it has improved my overall happiness and well being! More to come on this topic 🙂 Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Jenn & so glad you enjoyed the post!
LOVE this! Such great advice, and I totally agree about doing things and being with people who will lift you up and bring positivity into your life. That jumpsuit looks fab on you too!
Thank you so much, Sam! So appreciate you weighing-in!