Women are having a moment. We’ve been having this moment for a long time. We’ve been Leaning In, we’ve been Girl Bossing, Girl Coding, and Leaving our Marks. The literature, podcasts, television shows and YouTube channels devoted to empowering women and creating community among them are piling up and up and up. They all have one goal in common, sometimes explicit, sometimes implicit. They are all seeking to redefine success to better suit women’s needs and desires. For us, success is not all about money and power. For more and more women, and men, success is about happiness. It is about feeling that the work we do every day is meaningful, that we are making impactful human connections every day, and that we’ve achieved a harmonious work-life balance.
What this looks like is definitely different from person to person. Here are four new ways to define success from average young women to our idols. Which resonates the most with you?
1. “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” -Maya Angelou
2. “Having balance in life” – Alexandra Pakis, Social Media Specialist
According to Alexandra, balance is really hard to achieve, and to achieve it you need to implement a consistent routine that works for you and is informed by your values. Achieving success is not easy, but to do it you have to do a complete audit of your value system and then be honest with yourself about what your values are and how the things and people in your life line up with those values. Also- achieving success means implementing boundaries. This is very hard, especially for Alexandra who comes from a huge Greek family where the word “Selfish” is wielded like a weapon.
3. “This is a great moment…to acknowledge that the current male-dominated model of success isn’t working for women, and it’s not working for men, either.”- Ariana Huffington
Ariana Huffington argues that the current measures of success- money, power, and crushingly busy work schedules, are actually toxic. You end up paying the price for all of the “success” you achieve with overwork, exhaustion, and loneliness. Huffington believes in a third metric, beyond dollar bills and followers, that makes us happy, and so makes all of the hard work worth it. This third metric is based on well-being and health, wisdom, wonder, and giving. Ariana Huffington defines success as having the freedom to sleep eight hours each night, to having the wisdom to listen to our gut and follow our intuition when it comes to making important decisions. The third metric also includes having the strength to be giving of money, time, love and affection. Vulnerability = Success.
Here are three examples she gives on how to achieve her definition of success:
a. Get 30 minutes more sleep per night. Getting more sleep each night will help you wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day’s challenges.
b. Create a device-free zone at bedtime. You probably sleep with your phone by your bed. Not good, says Huffington, and there’s science to back that up. When you wake up in the middle of night and look at the blue light, it takes longer to get back to sleep and the sleep you do get isn’t as refreshing.
c. Do regular life audits. “How many projects do we start in our heads that we don’t do anything about?” she asked. “It’s very liberating to know you can complete a project by dropping it. Then it doesn’t clutter your inner drive anymore, and you can focus your energy elsewhere.”
4. “Success is subjective “– Samantha Rogers, Co-Founder, Relate Social Capital
“For me success is if I can keep doing what I love to do and continually hit my goals, then I am successful. If I can go paddleboard in the afternoons and then work my butt off for the rest of the day- I feel that I am successful. I am scared that when people are seeing abstract and fake ideas of success plastered all over social media they just end up chasing their tail”