Isn’t it amazing how a pandemic can make us feel tiny and insignificant? Rarely in human history can we say that everyone in the world is being affected by one thing, directly or indirectly. But do we really want avoiding infection, working from home, and job loss to be permanent?
I’m fortunate because I am used to being alone and reflective. I work for myself from home. Social distancing is not so difficult for me. Many who need human interaction on a regular basis though, are climbing the walls. They need others to spark their energy. They need the social vibe to make them feel alive.
In times such as this, feeling successful is hard to come by. We are preoccupied with living as antiseptically as possible. We wonder why some are in denial about the seriousness of this contagion. Having the kids stay home from school is undermining the momentum they need to learn. And if we still have a job, it’s pretty much on hold, with some exceptions.
We humans love to celebrate success. It’s in our DNA to marvel at our accomplishments. We look to our careers and jobs, our families and economic security as signs of success. We revel in sports competitions, the completion of skyscrapers, and other artistic and scientific wonders to define our success as a society. But what if we’re missing the point?
Let’s face it, success in what is tangible grows stale. We get bored with the past. Careers can falter. Scientific marvels can feel commonplace. Many families struggle daily with the economy, personality conflicts, marriage issues, caring for elders, and illness.
What if true success had much more to do with our inner lives? When I left ministry as a parish priest after 32 years, I felt that at least I made a clear decision, based on how I had felt for years. Yet when I discovered that my skill set, broad education, experience, and talents did not translate into a job during the Great Recession, my success turned into delusion.
I persevered and after fits and starts, found life coaching as the perfect fit. Even then, however, I had to figure out the business end of self-employment and learn to live with the ups and downs of yearly income. I would never find true success in what I did.
I did find true success: in who I am and in matching it with what I do. I know I am doing my best when I eliminate illusions and attachment to outcomes and plow on through challenges with gratitude.
I also try to face my limitations with courage. I live with impaired sight, a loss of hearing, and a static noise in my brain. These have changed radically my love for reading and music. I no longer can identify where sounds are coming from, and I miss bird watching. The noise in my head cuts out conversations in crowds, eating in most restaurants, concerts, and most group activities.
Yet I focus on what I can do. Kindle helps me read. Music still excites my soul. I gear my social life to manageable groups of three or four. And I save lots of money cooking at home!
Success is what comes from my heart. It tells me that I am a wise and wonderful person, doing a great job in following the path that brings contentment to me and to others. Each day I consciously intend to match who I am in the moment, to whatever I need to accomplish. Success will never elude me.
Contact me at PariseCoaching@gmail.com or text me at 813-449-3904 to discuss your success and to set up a complimentary coaching session.