We all have different ideas on what success is. This is normal and natural so this post isn’t about definitions. It’s about what holds us back from success. I linked the quote below to the article that got me thinking and writing this post. It resonated with me because I do use travel as a theme in my series and in fact Lexi, my loud and often ornery (bad-tempered) heroine in Unexpected Passion has something to say on baggage as you will see if and when this second book is finished. (I’m working hard)
We decide we need certain things to get to our destination and of course we acquire them. It’s sensible or is it? What if while we are busy acquiring new things we lose track of what we already have packed in the bag? So then we double up on the shirt, the pants and the shoes and space is taken up. We already had a blue shirt that was decent, why did we get a new one? Do we need to take both? Yes, the old one is comfortable so just in case. Just in case of what exactly? The truth is we get attached to what is familiar. It makes us feel safe. Isn’t that why people hoard things?
But what use is having something we don’t use? We can’t need it if we are not using it, we can’t like it that much if we don’t bring it out. Let’s keep using the baggage analogy. A friend of mine would pack three times the amount of underwear based on the length of the trip. No, I haven’t just thrown in a random fact for comedy relief. I promise you she really did that along with extra shoes, extra sleepwear, extra toothpaste and whatever else she deemed could not be found at the other end.
Imagine taking a trip and never using half of what you packed and now consider the ramifications. We have to move those things out of the way to get to the things we like and actually want to wear or use. We could put them in a plastic bag to the side but they are still taking up space and what happens if we souvenir shop? We need to make room so do we throw things out, or buy a new suitcase. The former makes us feel silly and the latter costs money to purchase and then in baggage allowance.
Look how easy it becomes to lose sight of the purpose of our trip when we weigh ourselves down with the unnecessary. Right now you probably think I am making something out of nothing. So what if you over pack? The world won’t fall apart, right? But, I for one would like to travel lighter so my baggage isn’t a hindrance and more to the point allows me to add to it if something catches my eye. I am freer to judge what I need, what I like, where I go and what I see without my shoulders and back paying the price.
Substitute in-grained habits for extra baggage. Think of ultra-success in place of that desired trip. We make plans to travel and change our geography but we take old eyes instead of new ones to view the panorama and end up paying baggage allowance and missing the best part of the view. In Monopoly terms some of us do not realise we are the barrier to passing go. We are on the plane and collecting the $200 doesn’t seem so important. Do we need the ultra-success?
Elle Kaplan talks about the following ingrained habits as preventing us from going that extra mile. I thought it might be interesting to share my reaction to each of the points.
Impulsive emotional decisions
I am Italian.
Reliance on praise
I need it.
I control everything.
Dump the toxic waste
But they’re my friends, my family, and my possessions, aren’t they?
Everyone has it.
It seems I have an excuse every time. I think we all do but I’m too old to lug a heavy suitcase around. I can be impulsive and emotional in the right context but it can’t be an excuse for error. Praise is so much better when we give it not receive it. It tastes better. Integrity is and speaks for itself and it certainly doesn’t belong in the giving up basket. Enjoying life is different to indulging it just as multi-tasking is fine when realistic. And as for the toxic waste it comes in all sizes and packages, and sometimes even in the form of people we love. Dumping isn’t easy but toxicity is catching and it feeds our self-doubt and this in turn creates a negative environment to deliciously feed toxicity. What do you prefer?
I want to travel light so I can get to my destination faster and enjoy it. Success in any field is about enjoying what you strive hard for. Looks like I need to google packing wisely.
Ciao for now