33 New Ways to Measure Success

success

When you think of the word success, what comes to mind?

Money? Flashy suits? Private jets? Expensive cars? Penthouse suites?

That’s so old paradigm, bro.

For the last few decades (and way longer in some cultures), success has been almost entirely associated with money.

Of course, monetary success is an aspect of success, but it’s far from total success.

The core definition of success is, “the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one’s goals.”

That can literally apply to ANYTHING. And it should be.

So in the spirit of rendering old paradigms irrelevant, I’ve made a list of 33 new ways to measure success.

Note: Don’t cling to measurability in terms of amounts or statistics. Many of these are measurable in the simple sense that you can “check them off” as they occur in your life.

33 New Ways To Measure Success

  1. How much you laugh every day
  2. Free time
  3. Location independence
  4. Earning a living through helping people
  5. Enjoying the little things in life
  6. Making someone’s day
  7. Having the capacity to give
  8. The ability to choose what you do in a day
  9. Leaving your comfort zone
  10. Choosing love over fear
  11. Deepening a connection with someone
  12. Meditating
  13. Creating something (anything)
  14. Expressing yourself in any way
  15. Getting an idea
  16. Truly tasting food with full awareness
  17. Using your body in a new way and noticing how vibrant it feels
  18. The ability to travel
  19. Richness and diversity of experiences
  20. Perception expansion
  21. Every time you leave your comfort zone
  22. Whenever you create an interesting story
  23. Connecting with nature
  24. Being completely authentic in an interaction with someone
  25. Having the courage to be vulnerable
  26. Admitting when you’re wrong
  27. Trying something new and succeeding
  28. Trying something new and failing
  29. Learning from a mistake
  30. Reconnecting with an old friend
  31. Making a new friend
  32. Finding likeminded people
  33. Being fully in the present moment

Every time I check off one of these items, it’s a success.

But there’s a bit of a paradox…

Constantly chasing success is a trap. Your self-worth is not attached to anything you do. You’re worthy no matter what.

This is why the last, and most important, measure of success is BEING FULLY IN THE PRESENT MOMENT. If you ever find yourself fully in the moment – not lost in thoughts about the past or future – that’s success!

Yeah, it’s fun to do cool things and experience all that life has to offer. But if you lack the ability to JUST BE, you’re always going to be chasing the illusory pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Remember, success can be found in the simple things.

Now you have some specific ideas to help you reevaluate how you measure success.

We all deserve to be able to create the best versions of ourselves and make the most out of life.

Do you have any other ways to measure success? Drop a comment below.

Much love.

– Stevie P!

It’s All Research, Therefore I Cannot Fail

This is a guest post by Alton Eckel.

10458386_10204351687455608_792651366744482208_n

My mother taught me one of the greatest lessons in life: it’s all research. It was a lesson that I took with me into my first Ironman race last summer. When I felt exhausted, or my body ached, I re-evaluated my current state and redirected myself to a more constructive frame of mind. What could I do differently next time? What had I done properly that day? How had my training prepared me for the day’s elements? I can confidently say that I have never “failed” due to this outlook. When something has been unsuccessful in training or racing (or anything in life for that matter), I simply consider it a disproven hypothesis.

I am an adolescent when it comes to the world of endurance racing and triathlons; I still have a sense of immortality and innocence to me. I have not heard of an obscure race that I would not try or a distance that I did not believe was achievable. My ambition has carried me to many daunting start lines and my tenacity has pushed me across the same number of finish lines. That’s correct: in more than one hundred races ranging from 5k’s to full Ironman triathlons I have never shown a DNF (Did Not Finish) next to my name.

I did not run during high school. As a matter of fact, a telephone pole length was a distance event during my teenage years. I was an All American cheerleader who had avoided her bike since middle school. Then, one day, a middle aged, slightly overweight man asked me to join him for a two mile run. He tore up the pavement and left my ego at the door. This shifted my perspective. I became lit up at the idea of improving my run. Not to mention getting out of the gym and stationary machines. Within five months of my first official run I did my first half marathon. My sense of accomplishment fueled my interest in continuing with the sport. And in less than a year I ran my first marathon.

I also bought a bike and entered a sprint triathlon around the same point in time. This was where I faced my greatest challenge, since swimming has always been a struggle for me. I used a noodle on the swim. It may as well have been an inner tube. Out of two thousand women, I was 9th from last on the swim. Then I kissed my bike, made my way through the crowded streets and ended up finishing in the middle of the field. I learned a great deal during that race about my self and my ability. I was not invincible. I needed to practice swimming. I needed to train with more brick sessions. I needed to alter my nutrition.

The following year, I returned to the same sprint triathlon determined to test out my new skills. I had done my research. I had taken swim lessons. I had done weekly bricks. I had tested my nutrition through trial and error. The hard work paid off. I finished that race first in my age group and nineteenth overall. I discovered how a challenging experience could be used as research toward a more positive one in the future. Now I’m always excited for my next race, as it’s an opportunity to test my hypotheses once again.

While recently juggling triathlon training and attending college full-time for my Master’s in Psychology, I have realized that the two are closely intertwined. The cognitive aspect of training and racing is an exercise in mental toughness and inner dialogue. I have self reflected over and over again and discovered the therapy that endurance racing offers.

This also elicited the question of why I’m able to use my inner dialogue to push forward, while some athletes are paralyzed by self-defeating thoughts and fear. I am not the bionic woman; my legs feel like lead bricks at mile 18 of the run during an Ironman, my back aches from a 40 lb pack after my seventh summit of the day in the White Mountains, and my vision becomes impaired at mile 90 of a hot century ride. Yet, somehow, I push through this feeling while others surrender to of the pain, turn back, or give up.

What separates us? I propose that it’s my inner dialogue, which is motivational and empowering. I have a drill sergeant within my own mind. When I grow tired or ache all over, my internal self says, “Suck it up, this is nothing!” My exhaustion and desire to slow down is overcome by my excitement and drive, while other athletes’ exhaustion and desire to slow down are exacerbated by feelings of disempowerment and defeat. The same thought creates a different inner dialogue for different athletes. The perception of our thoughts produces different behaviors and subsequent outcomes. As it turns out, endurance athletes are in a continuous process of engaging in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with themselves.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is therapeutic intervention in which thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are intertwined. The way we choose to react to a triggering event is dependent on our interpretation and thoughts surrounding it. Following our thought is an emotional response, which in turn affects our behavior. Therefore, our thoughts and emotions control our actions… even when training and racing.

CBT

How can we use CBT to improve performances and interpret failures in a motivating way? First, pay attention to what your inner dialogue is saying to you. To use running as an example: The next hard tempo run that you go out for listen to your thoughts and physical responses. Do you give up on the fast pace a half mile prior to your anticipated distance? If so, then what were you thinking when you chose to slow down? Was your body tense and in a state of fear?

Understanding what happens within our body and thoughts just before we decide (yes, it’s a decision) to give up or slow down helps us to change future outcomes and improve performances. If we have self defeating thoughts such as, “I cannot meet my goal, I’m too tired” then working on a more productive thought pattern such as, “I’ve felt this tired before, time to dig deep and work toward closing in on that goal” can improve our performance and boost our confidence.

Pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in training and racing. Challenge yourself to improve your inner dialogue and find the lesson learned in unmet goals. Work toward using difficult days as motivation. As my mom states, it’s all research. None of us have failed, just disproven hypotheses.

“Do not dedicate your life to your sport, but rather, dedicate your sport to your life.”
-Dan Millman

“There is no failure, only feedback.”
-Mark Allen

About Alton:
Alton is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor specializing in cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness. She’s also a trail runner, triathlete, wolf mama and part-time superhero.

Follow Alton on Instagram: @trailbright

Alton

2

6 Steps To Program Yourself For Happiness And Success

I want you to answer this question honestly…

How are you programming yourself?

woman-163426_640

Are you conditioning yourself to your benefit or detriment? Are you programming yourself with love or fear? Are you brainwashing yourself to be empowered and positive, or a disempowered victim? What stories are you telling yourself?

Whatever you program yourself with becomes your experience; your reality.

“Just as your conscious mind can be thought of as the gardener, planting seeds, your subconscious mind can be thought of as the garden, or fertile soil, in which the seeds germinate and grow. 

Your conscious mind commands and your subconscious mind obeys. Your subconscious mind is an unquestioning servant that works day and night to make your behavior fits a pattern consistent with your emotionalized thoughts, hopes, and desires. Your subconscious mind grows either flowers or weeds in the garden of your life, whichever you plant by the mental equivalents you create.” -Brian Tracy

beautiful-2703_640

The conscious mind can only hold one thought at a time. You always have the choice of what that one conscious thought is, and you can always change it.

You reap what you sew. Keep planting seeds of love and empowerment, and that’s what you’ll reap.

You’re the gatekeeper. You can let demons or angels into your royal kingdom. The choice is up to you…

“One evening an old Cherokee Indian told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, ‘My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.’

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: ‘Which wolf wins?’

The old Cherokee simply replied, ‘The one you feed.’”

We create “reality”…

Placebo Effect – Think about how crazy the Placebo Effect is! Have you ever really wrapped your head around it? It’s a phenomenon in which people’s beliefs cause physical changes. That’s mind-blowing. The placebo effect is a testament to the ability of our consciousness to influence “physical reality.”

Dr. Emoto’s Water Experiments – Another example of consciousness affecting reality is Dr. Emoto’s water experiments. Dr. Emoto would subject water to various stimuli (words, phrases, music…etc), and then quickly freeze them so they crystallize. The results were amazing. Water crystals subjected to love-based stimuli would form beautiful, harmonious structures, while crystals subjected to not-of-love stimuli would would be disharmonious. Intriguing, eh?

Double-slit experiment – Then there’s the famous double-slit experiment… This experiment has repeatedly shown that matter is not what we thought it was, and that the behavior of particles change when they are being observed. This (again) hints at the effect of consciousness on “reality.”  Here’s a great video explaining the double-slit experiment:

Check this article out for more on these topics – 10 Scientific Studies That Prove Consciousness Can Alter Our Physical Material World

The field of possibilities… 
Many who study quantum physics and the fundamental structures of “reality” hypothesize that everything exists as a “field of possibility.” That everything is fundamentally wave-form, and brought to fruition (as “physical reality”) only when conscious attention is placed upon this field. This is science echoing the age-old spiritual teachings of oneness and creating our own reality. Empowering, right?

“Space is not empty. It is full, a plenum as opposed to a vacuum, and is the ground for the existence of everything, including ourselves. The universe is not separate from this cosmic sea of energy.” -David Bohm (theoretical physicist and mentor of Albert Einstein)

For a spectacular presentation of these concepts, check out “Divine Matrix” by Gregg Braden…

The Law of Attraction…
The law of attraction is the belief that “like attracts like.” What you put out into the world is what you receive. You reap what you sew. The law of attraction entails creating your own reality (empowering, right?). “Reality” is more malleable and dynamic than we’ve been conditioned to think. And after studying subjects like quantum physics, these kind of ideas seem less “New-Agey” and more self-evident.

Ok, let’s bring it back to the ground now…

Common sense…
You act, consciously and subconsciously, according to what you believe. For example, if you believe you don’t deserve a girlfriend or boyfriend, you will create that reality. You’ll have bad posture, unconfident communicative abilities, and a lack of that love aura. So then, consequently, you won’t attract a girlfriend/boyfriend. What you believe is what you get. Our beliefs determine our thoughts, emotions, actions, interactions, and thus our experience in life.

“We all tell ourselves stories. We define ourselves with our stories. Is your story helpful?” -Elliott Hulse

meditation-278793_640

How to program yourself for success and happiness (or anything else you wish to BE or attain):

1. Awareness. This is the most crucial thing for any kind of personal development. You must first be aware of your thoughts in order to change them.

“KEY THOUGHT – When you choose to be aware of behavior patterns that don’t serve you, you are in a position to change them. That’s empowerment.” -dr. michael ryce

The best way to develop awareness of your thoughts is to consistently meditate (even if only for a few minutes). Here’s a really helpful list of tips on meditation.

2. Stop the negative thought patterns. Once you become aware of your thoughts, you will then begin catching the negative thoughts as they arise. Simply observe and let go of them. As you do this, they’ll become less and less frequent. Soon enough you’ll be able to transcend the negative thought patterns and consciously program yourself to your benefit.

Piece of advice – Reduce the amount of news you watch (and TV in general). It’s overwhelmingly fear-based, and will further exacerbate negative thought patterns. It’s called ” television programming” for a reason. Don’t be a victim of mass fear-mongering, consciously program yourself to your benefit.

3. Plant the seeds you want. Use your self-awareness to consciously program empowering and loving thoughts into your psyche. Your self-talk should be like talking to a young child, gentle, encouraging and empowering. Be aware of what you say to yourself, as that is the experience you get.

Techniques to plant the seeds you want:

~Affirmations. Affirmations are empowering phrases that are consistently repeated, programming the subconscious mind. With affirmations, it’s crucial to affirm that your desire IS happening. The Universe works in bringing you what you believe in the present moment; what you are projecting in the eternal now. Repeated affirmations upgrade the programming system (your subconscious) in which you operate on.

Here are some examples:
If you want good health…
“I am healthy and strong.”
If you want to attract money…
“I am experiencing money flowing easily into my life.”

Note: A lot of effective affirmations start with “I am…” When you powerfully affirm that it IS, it will come to fruition.

Huffington Post – 35 Affirmations That Will Change Your Life

~Visualization. Successful athletes are well-known for using visualization to optimize performance. Visualize what you desire like it IS happening right now (like with affirmations). Imagine and experience the visualization with all your senses. Become fully immersed, and you will help bring your vision to fruition. Visualize the action and actualize the vision. Consistently imagine the taste of success, and you will inevitably taste success.

“For example, one study had novice weightlifters imagine that they were performing a bicep curl exercise three times a week for eight weeks. The participants did notactually do any bicep curls or any other elbow flexion training during that time. However, they still gained strength in both the elbow flexors and extensors (44 and 32 percent increase in strength, respectively). A second study found that college athletes who performed visualization before strength training had more confidence and lifted more weight in a leg press exercise than they had done before without imagery. “ -Charles Poliquin

4. Move in the direction you want to go. Take action. Work towards your desires. If you want to get stronger, start lifting weights. If you want to become a better writer, read and write more. If you want to find your soul mate, be more open and do more things to meet people.

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

5. Consistently apply steps 1-4. 

See my article “Use This Strategy To Accomplish Anything (Part 1)” for a reminder of how ridiculously effective consistency is.

6. Reap the benefits and continue on the wonderful journey of life. 

And, of course, stay feelin’ good, feelin’ great.

Much Love.

-Stevie P!

10 Steps To Living A Successful Life

10 Steps

 

What I mean by this:

Most importantly, an awesome life is created through action (that’s why it’s listed 6 times haha). Remember that.

Step 1. Figure out what you want to do

You first have to figure out what you want. Where you want to go. Think about driving without a destination. You’ll just end up wandering aimlessly forever. How many times have you left your driveway without a destination? Apply the same principle to life (I guess leaving the driveway = birth here). Find your passions, discover your purpose, and know where you’re headed.

Step 2. Set goals

Set specific goals to accomplish what you want to do. And these don’t have to be grandiose. They can be small measures to take on a daily basis. Big goals are made more manageable when broken into smaller goals. If you want to bench press 300 lbs, you don’t just walk into the gym and throw 300 lbs on the bar. You start with what you can manage, and consistently add a small amount of weight each workout until you reach 300 lbs. Setting goals helps you visualize the action, and actualize the vision. Goals are your road map.

Steps 3-9.

Nothing gets done without action. It’s as simple as that. You can read all there is about fitness, but it doesn’t matter until you actually go to the gym. You can know all there is about investing, but that knowledge is useless until you actually invest. Just do it. That being said, you also need to see if you’re moving in the right direction (step 6), so you can make changes if necessary. All of the action in the world is ineffective if you’re moving in the wrong direction. So stop dwelling in the emptiness of inaction. Stop procrastinating. And start living an action-oriented lifestyle right now. It’s the only way to truly live.

Step 10. Repeat

When you accomplish a goal, you’ve made it… That’s it… You’re done, right?

…. Wrong.

Find another goal to work towards. Do something bigger and better. Become more awesome. Life is boring when you’re stagnant. You need to constantly challenge yourself and grow to live an awesome life.

“Any organism that isn’t growing is dying.” -Jason Ferruggia

So focus in taking action. Overcome inertia and get in motion. You can always change course later.

Stay feelin’ good, feelin’ great my friends.

-Stevie P

___________________________________________________________________________

This post was inspired by: