Madeleine Eames

- Psychotherapist
- Mindfulness Teacher

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Success… what is it really?

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together”

Vincent Van Gogh

 

I was sitting on a chairlift this winter, having been deserted by my kids who prefer faster speeds… when I tuned in to the family that I was sharing the ride with. A 9 or 10 year old boy, with a huge grin on his face, made jokes, noises and comments that had his parents in stitches, laughing. The other 3 occupants including myself on the chairlift began laughing too… it was impossible not to… the boy joked about the hill, the weather… but mostly made funny noises that his parents ate up and couldn’t get enough of. The love was palpable, the joy uncontrollable. The little boy had Down’s syndrome and was throughly enjoying his day out with his parents…… this, I thought, is a successful moment.

 

Success can only ever come in moments, as life changes frequently, and success can quickly turn to sorrow. This is not to say don’t enjoy them because they are fleeting, but rather… enjoy, take note, blow them up, share them, make them huge moments. Neuroscience tells us that what we focus on, expands.  It is in these moments that we feel fully connected, in tune, joyous…. At least that’s how I am seeing it.

 

Success is defined differently for everyone. One million dollars in sales for a small business could mean a nice retirement, but a million dollars in sales for Google is a drop in the bucket. For some, success is a big house, or winning a race, or a moment without pain, or seeing your child smile. Whatever it is, behind all of this is the same goal… to feel good.

 

We’ve all heard the stories about the rich and famous being the sad and lonely, so how about treasuring those little moments along the way… that way, when you end up rich and famous you will know how to appreciate your success!  If you can’t find the depth and quality of this moment, you’re not going to find it when you achieve that goal. It will pass and you will be striving for the next one.

 

Success is ALL about feeling good… we just take different paths to get there. What about you? What is your definition of a successful day, or a successful moment?  Now… try and have more of those…or at least notice when they happen. End each day recounting the moments you appreciated. That day will never come again.

 

“You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you.”

~ Andy Warhol

 

 

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