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Changing The Way We View Success

“Woman will lead the Thriving Revolution.” This was Arianna Huffington’s opening statement at a Melbourne Business Chicks event I recently attended. 

What an amazing, warm, genuine woman on a mission to lead the way to change how we live and, more specifically, how we view success.

Success is currently viewed through a masculine paradigm of POWER and MONEY, where working 24/7 is applauded and, in many fields, expected.  She challenged us as women to redefine what it means to be successful in today’s world.

She shared the story of finding herself collapsed on the floor in a puddle of blood, questioning her measurement for success.  How could this be success?  How could she consider herself to be successful when she was so burnt out?  Her online publishing business may have been reaching new heights, but at what cost?

Burnout is the disease of the modern civilisation. 

Women are paying a high price for “success”, with our sisters, mothers, girlfriends in stressful jobs having a 40% greater incidence of heart disease.  Some of this can be attributed to the fact we woman have more difficulty turning off the “Obnoxious Room Mate” in our heads.  Men seem to be able to shut out that inner voice while women let their inner critic wreak havoc.

So it is time let go of our addiction to our burnt out style of living and embrace a new way.  

We need to change the way we view success.  The time has come to re-examine our every day assumptions that we must work long hours to get ahead, that we need to be available and connected to our devices 24 hours a day and that accumulation of “stuff” is a hallmark of success.

Arianna called on women to lead the charge, take action and to be at the forefront of change. It is time to integrate The Third Metric – Wellbeing, Wisdom, Wonder and Giving – into the way we live and our view of success.  Yes, money and power remain but when we include The Third Metric it brings a whole new perspective and balance.

I just love the simplicity of the solution to such a large problem!

Here are 5 simple steps we can all start taking today to move towards a redefined and happier life.

1. Get more sleep.  Even 30 minutes more a night will make a difference.  When we are well rested we make better decisions, are more creative and make better use of our time.

2. Allocate time to disconnect.  Disconnecting from your devices will allow you to make better connection with yourself and those most important to you.  Create a mobile free zone one day a week and definitely banish your devices from the bedroom.

3. Have more wonder. Slow down and enjoy the little things in life; slow food, long lunches, and lazy Sunday afternoons.  Give up multitasking and be fully present to one task, one activity, one person.  Let go of the belief that there is never enough time and enjoy the moments you are in.

4. Be more giving.  Neuroscience shows that giving to others is the shortcut to happiness.  Our culture has been obsessed with “what can I get?” rather than “how can I give”.  Perhaps we need to be reminded that giving is an offering…. Not a trade!  So remember to smile at the barrister who is making your coffee and say hello to the dog walker your meet on your morning walk each day.

5. Have gratitude.  Gratitude changes everything.  I think the wonderful quote from Rumi sums it up best.  “Live life like everything is rigged in your favour.” We have somewhere around 30,000 days in our lifetime.  If we only value money and power we will never have enough… so celebrate and have gratitude for what you do.  Life will never be perfect so enjoy the journey as it is.

Now it is over to you.

These solutions are so simple, you may question whether it will work for you.  The only way to know for sure is to give it a go.  As Arianna said, don’t try to do it all.  Pick one or two, commit to it,  take action and keep at it.

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