What is Success?

Success is a concept that each person within society is constantly trying to achieve. It is the hopes and dreams of every parent for their children to be successful and happy. It is woven into our character, and helps society define our worth, but what is success? More importantly, how do we obtain success?

The most common definition of success as defined by the internet and various dictionaries are the following: the accomplishment of an aim or purpose; the attainment of popularity or prosperity; and a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity.

While I do not disagree that success is strongly linked to obtaining accomplishments. The definition that is provided by so many dictionaries directly link success with monetary accomplishments, name recognition, power, and status within society. Although most of society may consider those definitions the true definition of success, personally these definitions seem incomplete or not truly encompassing success as a whole.

This lead me to research what is success defined by individuals that society consider successful.  How do “successful” people define the concept of success?

Arianna Huffington, the founder of the Huffington Post, stated in her book entitled Thrive that society “tends to think of success along two metrics — money and power — we need to add a third”. She states that the third is more like a multi-branch pillar that contains “well-being, wisdom, wonder, and giving”.  Success includes this last multi-branch pillar because to be successful, one truly needs to thrive and attend to their psychological well being as well as the role society creates for them.

According to the inspiring writer Maya Angelou, “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” She explains that success is sought through obtaining happiness within the decisions and paths that you have taken as an individual, and the enjoyment we find in it.

Spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra believes that success is a matter  of constant growth. He states in his book, “success in life could be defined as the continued expansion of happiness and the progressive realization of worthy goals.”

Unlike the three previous success stories that focus on the psychological well being of an individual, many others focus on the drive or path to success. Winston Churchill stated “success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” It is being relentless in your future and never giving up on your end goal.

Like Winston Churchill, Thomas Edison focused on the work to obtain success rather than what defines a successful person. He’s definition “success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.” He focused on constantly putting in the effort to reap the benefit.

I saved my personal favorite definition of success for last.  According to legendary basketball coach John Wooden, success comes from competition within ones self rather than competition with others. Wooden stated “success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming”. His idea of success comes from self fulfillment and goals of success that is set by the individual.

The common theme that is universal in each of these successful individuals definition is success comes from self awareness. Regardless if it is self fulfillment, hard work, continual self growth, relentless efforts, self love, or altruistic service to others; the key to success comes from within.  It is one thing to be successful to others, but the bigger obstacle is to truly gain success within the strict defines that we place upon ourselves.

I have not yet became the successful person that I would love to become, but I am proud of my progress and my relentless efforts to gaining success. Remember you are only more successful than the person you were yesterday.

Success lies within the heart, soul, and mind of the beholder.






It’s Okay not to be Okay

We live in a society that views people’s happiness and strength with being successful.  From a young age boys are taught not to cry because they will be perceived as weak or girly. Young girls are taught to be truly equal we must reel in our feelings, and show less emotion.  Society forces us to make everything seem okay. Do not get mad, upset, overreact, and to always remain calm. Do not express emotion.

If you have a job that pays well, you should be overjoyed that you are not one of the others not employed. You should be grateful, even if you hate your job.  Simply we are taught to be grateful and suppress.

But truly, It  is fine to be unhappy. To want more out of life. It is okay to hate yourself for not living up to your potential. It is okay to cry because it feels right. To hate your six figure job because it does not make you happy.  Its okay not to be okay.


Everything Happens For A Reason

I often use the phrase that there is a place for everything and everyone in our life. Through work, I was fortunate enough to meet the sweetest lady. This lady was the definition of resilience and hope. She was diagnosed with end stage breast cancer, and told she had 1-3 weeks left to live.

Like most people I am found of a good tear jerking story about the life and struggles of the terminally ill, but reading and watching these stories are nothing in comparison to living through the experience. This lady was in her mid nineties, married for seventy years to the same man that helped her to bed every night, and had a happy life. It is the same story told repeatedly time after time.

Well this lady did not live only 1-3 weeks, but stayed with all of us for 6 months, and I learned more about life and death within these six moths than a young millennial will ever need to learn.  Everyday I watched this woman die a little more, suffer a little more, hold on to every form of life she could.

Everyday she would tell me how she lived a good life, and God gave her an amazing life therefore she will never question why she was terminally ill. She told me that life is too short to be mad at people, to misunderstand people, too hold onto feelings and emotions. She told me every night to chase my dreams because no one will ever do it for me. Each time I talked to her, I knew she was placed into my life for a reason. She was there to save me from myself. To be the constant reminder that I do not only make a difference in her life, but I also touch so many people directly and indirectly daily without ever realizing. That a kind word or a gentle hand squeeze makes a world of a difference to people.

One day about four months before her death, I sat on her floor holding her hands. She asked about the expectation leading up to death. I carefully explained the process, and gave her my input. She cried. I cried. We both held each other knowing that we would be parting soon. That night I promised her that I would be there through the process. I would hug her and kiss her cheek. Hold her hand. I would tell her each night regardless of her state of mind to “sleep like a baby” like I have done every night up to this point. Sadly I was only able to give her six months of wishing her to sleep like a baby.

About a week ago this wonderful lady decided that she was ready. She was tired of pretending that every day was a normal day. She was done defying time and her illness.  She was done living only to keep her husband’s heart from breaking. She was tired of living through pain and discomfort and only enjoying life minimally. She stopped eating and drinking on her own accord, and requested comfort medications to remain pain free.  Than came the night she was barely responsive. As I administered her comfort medications, her daughter informed me that she has not spoken or responded to much for the past six hours. I bent over her kissed her forehead, squeezed her hand, and whispered in her ear “sleep like a baby”. She gently pressed her fingers against mine, and weakly replied “I’m going to miss you telling me that every night. I love you”.

Her spirit and soul left earth the following afternoon.

I learned  the inevitability of life is death, but why fear death when there is a life to live. If you worry too much about what’s ahead, you will never be able to enjoy what is in front of you right now. Life does not need to be perfect to be a good life, you only have to enjoy it. I cannot thank this wonderful woman for everything she taught me. I may stray away from my purpose in life at times, but I never will take life for granted anymore. She has taught so many things that would take at least six months to explain, but the most important lesson was that people and things are placed in our lives for a reason.  This lady and I was placed together for so many reasons. She told me everyday that I taught her so much about empathy and compassion that has no limits, about the normalcy of death, and that sometimes placing a fake smile is easier than explaining every bad moment. She taught me about life, sharing it with people, to never question fate, to stop and smell the roses, eat the chocolate, and to love without condition. I taught her about death and masking emotions, she taught me about life and being content with the cards dealt.  I will carry her story and a little piece of her with me no matter where life takes me. My life is forever changed.


17 Signs You Work in the Health Field (Especially with the Elderly)


Working with the elderly is Health Care is not always the easiest jobs, but it can be quite rewarding. It takes a certain type of person (you know that weird person that sits and talks to your grandma on a regular basis) to do this type of job. Almost everyone in the field has similar struggles, but here are sixteen signs that are relatable to all people who work within this field.

1. The perpetual smell of old people.

Old people smell comes in a number of different varieties; it is the old lady perfume, aftershave. Vic’s vapor rub, Aspercreame, or the common old people smell it never seems to leave your pores.

2. Calling baby diapers Briefs

You are brainwashed to the fact that telling an old person that you are putting a diaper on them is so detrimental to their wellbeing that when you actually have to change a baby you say “will you pass me that brief”. Let’s face it; diaper is no longer in your vocabulary.

3. Nicknames such as: cupcake, honey bun, sweetheart, and babe

These names are common grounds between both the staff and residents because either you are calling your 90+ residents this because you never want to say the wrong name or you are in fact one of these pet names because old folks mind is not as sharp as it used to be. In my case no offense you do not want to be called cupcake, it means you have become an old ladies slave.

4. Only time it is appropriate to wear cartoon clothing in public no matter how old you are.

Yes, I like Scooby doo, Spongebob, and Winnie the Pooh. So yes I will buy and wear scrubs to work. I don’t care if my residents know who they are. They are just so cute! Yes most of us are guilty of this.

5. When 65-70 years old is considered young

Your concept of young completely changes. Fifty is no longer old, but in fact it is quite young. Hey half your nursing staff is probably fifty are close to fifty, and your residents are probably almost 100!

6. Getting paid to be insulted and assaulted

Yes I probably get called out of my name about twenty times a day, and it is never a surprise to get hit, punched, kicked, and (in my case) a cup of cold water thrown in your face.

7. Bland unseasoned food

Between the no spicy food and no salt diets all the food taste like is a bunch of mashed soft particles no matter what it is! “You know we are having spaghetti for lunch or more like really soft noodles with flavorless tomato sauce sounds more like it.”

8. When you have the same conversation everyday with the same person.

Yea my name is Kate and I am… let’s just say there is tons of repetition and most to all will not remember who you are tomorrow.

9. There is no off time because your job never closes

This is a 24/7 job and you will never forget that but hey holiday pay is kind of nice! I mean you come to expect those calls at three in the morning asking if you could make it to work early.

10. Poop is forever known as BM

Enough Said. No need to explain that one!

11. Speaking of BM you probably are comfortable discussing BM

No matter if it is talking about how often you may go, or how big one of your residents was that today. We love to talk about poop. It makes our world go round.

12. It is normal that within an 8 hour period you probably have urine, BM, or blood (that is rarely your own) on your scrubs and it is acceptable.

And yes I have had days where I have come home with all three. Believe me showers become your best friend. You can never shower enough.

13. If you are under the age of 35 you are considered a Baby still.

No matter how long you have been in the field you will be always considered a baby in the eyes of your residents, and if you are not a baby. The scary alternative is that you are considered one of them! Yea I like being a baby.

14. You have probably seen more balls, tits, and vaginas than any human should ever see!

Hey at least you will never be surprised in any awkward situation because sadly you have already seen everything before. Ranging from big to small. Circumcised to uncircumcised.

15. No matter how much you make it is never enough!

I mean let’s be real, you are taking another human beings life in your hands, but you make less than the people at Lowes. It defiantly sucks and the pay is not always worth the crap but at the end of the day you are not there for just a pay check (although getting paid is nice!). You are there because you care, or you are the type of person that can handle the environment.

16. Overtime is to almost always to be expected

Regardless if you want the time and half or not you will probably get stuck picking up others shifts “Yea Patty found out this is not the field for her, so who wants to pick up some shifts?”

17. Your residents and coworkers become like family

This is probably one of my favorite. Each part of the team that I work with is like members of my own family. We cry together, we laugh together, and we struggle together. Some of these people will attend your wedding and share your every day joys. I think I call a large portion of my residents’ grandma or pops. They simply help make the job worth it and your day faster. It is simply part of the job, and is the reason everyone stays at a job that sometimes does not seem worth it. These people count on your vital role in making the team operate.