The official definition is “accomplishing an aim or purpose” and “ having achieved popularity, profit, or distinction.”  I feel that both of these are missing the point, especially the second one. 

Success should not be measured by the dollars in your bank account, the cars in the garage, or your zip code.  Success should be measured by the percent of your day that you get to spend doing something that fills you up. 

Granted we all have tasks in our jobs that we dislike doing, I’m not talking about never doing something you don’t like again.  (Actually, doing those tasks that you don’t like are often the ones that bring you the biggest jumps towards your future goals….)

What I’m talking about is living a life by design.  If you don’t make a conscious decision about what you want your life to look like, you will just float through life – having your days be the result of external forces.  This results in you waking up one day and wondering what happened to the past 20 or 30 years. 

If you could design your ideal day from start to finish, what would it look like?  What EXACTLY does your business look like?  Are you photographing only pets?  How many clients do you have per year?  At what price point?  When do you hold these sessions?  What time do you schedule off for yourself?  What hobbies do you make time for?  What time each week do you devote to the people that are most important to you?  How often do you travel?  To where?  With whom? 

My challenge to you is to grab a glass of wine (or a chocolate martini), sit down for an hour, and determine what your ideal life looks like.  Guess what, you may realize that this is a whole lot harder than you first thought…so I made you a little cheat sheet.

Our culture reveres busy.  We say we don’t want to be busy, we don’t like to be busy….but look at our actions.  Busy is the new fine. 

“Hi Jane!  How have you been?”  You know what’s coming….   “Hi Sally, I’ve been so BUSY!”

We’ve been so busy being busy that we don’t even know what we want!  It’s insane! 

We need to set our own sails.  I promise you that any time that you spend looking at what you truly desire and determining what actions you can take to lead an inspired life is time well spent.

One last thing, do not compare your business, photography skill, or life to anyone except your previous self.  If you are closer to your life by design than you were last month, you are successful.