Have you ever thought about what success means to you? Have you ever really taken the time to break it down? My husband was one of the first people to ask me these questions.  I’ll never forget sitting on one of our first dates at a complete loss for words, unable to articulate my answer or even wrap my head around it.  I realized in that moment that I couldn’t fully define success and it make me totally uncomfortable.  I had been chasing the word “success” since I could remember but I realized that I had never fully honed in on whether it included attaining a certain dream, hitting a particular salary, etc. While success is still an ever-changing definition for me, now that I’m a mom, I want to open up about how it’s shaping my daily life.  In addition to today’s outfit post, I’m rounding up some tips in terms of how to reshape your view of success too (especially if you’re a perfectionist like me).

What Does Success Mean To You?

Does success mean attaining a certain amount of money, fame or happiness? Is it about finding a life partner and growing a family? How do we know when we’re successful? Are we  able to realize when we’ve “made it” or are we always striving towards the next goal? Is success equivalent to happiness?

Especially since having Naiya, I’ve been thinking about all of these questions more than ever on repeat. I’ve realized just how much becoming a mom has completely changed my outlook on success, happiness and life itself.

What Used To Define Success For Me

I used to think of success as being at the very top of my game at work, attaining all of my professional goals and being comfortable financially.

I was hoping to find a significant other and thought I’d want kids someday but building a family was not initially on my list of things that would make me feel successful. Instead, it was on my list of things that I believed would make me feel happy.

Somehow, happiness and success did not always go together for me and when my husband helped me to realize that, I knew I needed to make a big change in my outlook.

What Success Means To Me Now:

Now that I’m a mom, I really do feel like I have found my purpose. When I come home from work and I see Naiya’s face, the stresses of the day seem to melt away. I know this sounds completely cliche but it’s true. My career goals are still as important to me as ever but now I work to pay the bills AND to feed my soul creatively.

Success is about showing my daughter that women can do anything we set our minds to. We can be #girlbosses and moms, on top of anything else under the sun. I’m no longer simply chasing for the word “success” like I used to. I’m defining it and redefining it and I’m becoming more specific with my approach and goals.

Success is striving to be the best mom, daughter, friend, wife and coworker I can be. It’s about surrounding myself with as many people who inspire me and lift me up as possible. It’s also about detaching from those who do not because life is too short.

Success is realizing I will never be able to make everyone around me happy at all times. It’s about learning to let the little things go so that I can truly enjoy the beauty that life has to offer.

It’s also about coming home to a family I love more than anything. I didn’t realize how important this would be in my early 20’s but it’s my holy grail. My family is my rock and I’m thankful that they keep me grounded.

Success is about being in a position where I’m able to inspire others and be inspired by others.

Lastly and most importantly, success is about always striving for happiness.  I’ve learned that the two can co-exist and I’m constantly trying to find the perfect balance.

Outfit Of The Day

I’m wearing this safari-inspired belted mini dress which I’m loving for spring.  I paired it with red accents–red cat eye sunnies and red patent booties. While we transition into warmer weather, I’m loving booties with dresses for spring because they add a bit of extra edge.

This dress also looks great paired with sandals (here or here), espadrilles, pumps (here or here) or even comfy white sneakers.

Photography: Azusa Takano