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The sweetest fruits of success.

February 01, 2015

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I’ve turned down a bunch of projects lately. Small ones and larger ones. I could use the income, certainly, but between my efforts with promoting my latest book Finding Zoe and some personal things I have going on, I hear a resounding internal NO every time I consider taking on a new project. My husband has been consumed with work and my son has been going through a rough spell; it is SO clear to me where my energies need to be focused at this time.

Yet, each time I’ve turned down the work it’s been fraught with some anguish. I know why. Money and work are two areas in life that we can become very attached to. In other words, we tend to define ourselves by our relationship with them: having more means being more. The reasons why are no mystery. Just check out the posts on Google Plus, for example. Everywhere you turn people are writing about moving forward, being determined, achieving more and give you myriad tips for doing so. While having goals and achieving them are crucial, not only for making ends meet but also for living a fulfilling life, in my opinion this definition of success is two-dimensional at best. Yes, getting motivated is great, but let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater—meaning,  that when we listen to our inner guidance, we’ll be led to jewels beyond compare. We can’t storm the gates of heaven through sheer quantity, but we can find heaven right here on earth, if we know where to look.  This I have learned from experiencing it, which is the only way that we can ever really learn anything.

Don’t get me wrong. In my mind I’ve played out taking on the projects, as this has helped me to really discern what taking them on might be like, and the consequences. I’m not talking here about giving up reflective thinking. Not at all. I’m talking about becoming aware of the fact that thinking can take us only so far; it has its limits. Even if I could rationalize taking on another project, for me, the NO that wells up so strongly from within, is by far the better indicator of what will bring me success.

And I kid you not. I write this, because I am a writer, and for me, writing is a way of incorporating what am learning about myself and life into my life. But as a writer, I also know that the fruit doesn’t fall very far from the curious reader’s tree. I ask you to look at your own definition of success and see if it could use some pruning.

6 Responses to “The sweetest fruits of success.”

  1. Thanks Gail,

    As I move from task to task on my day inside, I realize that there are many things to work on. What is important to my fulfillment and that of the people I have put myself in community with?

    I loved my weekend, saying goodbye to an old friend, dancing with grandkids, sharing at Church, and celebrating the Pats.

    Work always feels a little more serious, but I am committed to bringing the same sense of fun and enjoyment to emails and calls that I experienced over the weekend.

    Happy snow day.


  2. Hi Nancy, It is good that you know what brings you fulfillment and you are committed to. I think that success is unique or individual to each of us. So for you at this time it sounds like success is being fulfilled and also knowing what fulfills you. Yes, happy snow. School closed again tomorrow.

  3. I love your fruit, tree, and pruning metaphors. It’s so easy to get caught up in “I am what I do,” as opposed to “I am what I love” or “I am a good person” or “I’m taking care of what matters to me at this moment in my life.”

    Thanks for reminding all of us that “we can’t storm the gates of heaven through sheer quantity”!!

  4. You are welcome. Even getting caught up in, “I am what I love” is not the ultimate truth, either. For me the truth is, and we only have words to point at it, “When I trust the Cosmos I am trusting myself” and vice versa. This points at an openness that leaves out nothing. Capish? as my mom used to say. Love you.

  5. Love love love this post Gail. How apropos and timely for the theme of the show tomorrow! To me, I believe that choosing ventures that are in alignment with our purpose is where true success, fulfillment, and happiness are experienced.

    Love and Light

  6. Yes, it is perfect, isn’ it? You know agree and I’m sure it will be discussed tomorrow. Actually, if you think that this post is aligned with the show, wait till you read my next one… coming out on Monday!! See you tomorrow, sweets.

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