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  • Writer's pictureBen Pechey

Success is what you say it is

As we come to the end of the year, it feels like we’re at a natural place to pause. As the denouement of the year looms over us - it can be easy to over-assess the progress you have made, as well as over-examining what success looks like.

2022 has taught me so much about what success looks and feels like. For many of us working with mental health struggles, just getting to the end of the year in one piece is a huge success. So realistically I have learned that success isn’t a linear pathway. It is far more complicated than that.

It’s not just about the big wins, and huge career moments, it’s about redefining what makes you feel successful. We have spent so much time focused on these huge moments, we forget there is a lot to celebrate. It requires a moment of introspection to see these moments.

I had my introspective light bulb moment whilst I was watering an Orchid. I have kept it alive since August. I have never managed to see an orchid verdant for more than six weeks before it inevitably shrivels, fades and dies. Somehow, I have managed to keep this one going for three months. Now in what world is that not an achievement?

Of course, keeping an orchid alive doesn’t progress my career, it doesn’t ease the financial worry that hangs over every self-employed person, and it certainly doesn’t provide any tax benefits. However, it does something that is worth more than any of them; it makes me happy.

The orchid sits on my bedside table, its purple flowers smiling at me as I fall asleep and wake up. Seeing that perky supermarket orchid every morning is a refreshing reminder that in all the noise of the world, there are moments of joy just for us when we make room to see them. This means that success is where, when, and what we say it is.

Leaving room for more moments to spot and celebrate small successes can only have a positive effect on you. As we leave 2022 and enter 2023 in just over a week's time, I urge all of us to see to it that we all stop to marvel at the orchid. Make time to see all the success we create just by being on this planet.

Success is what you say it is - so redefine it, and make 2023 the year where you really celebrate all that you achieve - that is a plan I intend to stick to darling.

Have a wonderful festive season, and I will see you in the new year.

Shot by Ruth Pechey


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