Top Ten Habits of Mildly Successful Women

I am a Mildly Successful Woman, and you can be, too!

I have a good job. I wouldn’t call my job middle management because I only manage one person.  I have about maxed out my earning potential at my company, and have no plans on seeking a higher position, because that would mean more work. My salary is just high enough that I am not inspired to take the plunge into an advanced degree to increase my earning potential, and just low enough that my fantasy European vacation is going to have to wait…until I fall asleep and dream that I went.  I can afford not to thrift for everything I wear, but I still can't afford cable.

I’m here, today, to share some of my secrets for Mild Success with you. What are we waiting for, right? Let’s jump in! Here are the "Top Ten Habits of Mildly Successful Women"

1. Wear jeans every day. (I mean every day.)

Oh, sure. You can occasionally get on a crazy lark, and think “Yes! This is finally going to be the summer of skirts. I’m gonna get my colors done, and, ya know what? I might even get a professional bra fitting! I’m even going to start using those products that the Mac Cosmetics lady sold me because she’s so right: my eyelids DO need foundation." This is all well and good, Mild Success hopeful, and it happens to the best of us, but if you are going to truly be Mildly Successful for the long haul: jeans, jeans, jeans...

2. Leave school seeking fame.

Go big or go home, right? I got a theater degree so I could be movie star, but you can shoot for whatever: Billboard. Broadway. Wall Street. Go to film school. (yeah!!!) But whatever  it is that you choose, do it because you know you are “special.” You aren’t like all those other yoo-hoo’s out there thinking they are somethin’. You got magic, baby.  Your star is gonna rise. Quickly. All the famous people have their stories about the lean years, and how they kept the faith when things were bleak, and when you read those stories, they resonate in you.  Any minute now, someone’s gonna recognize “it” and bring it to the national spotlight.   Any minute now……..Any minute…….Hold on……….any minute………..any day now………..

BONUS: Don't learn a trade. You won't need it. Put all your eggs in the fame basket.

3.Refuse to work one minute more than you are expected to.

To be Mildly Successful, you have to kind of resent being told how to spend your time.  Sure, you are being paid, but you’re not an animal.   Time is  the most precious thing we have, and you are a grown up lady, and today maybe you don’t feel like stopping your lunch after 30 minutes thank you very much. You must begin to see your job as a close cousin of indentured servitude, and after a certain amount of time with the company, refuse to give it “everything.”

4. Create an emotional moat between you and others with judgment as your pail, and envy as your shovel.

Again, the possibilities are infinite, but here's a peek: "Look how successful she is! She’s really going places. What has she/he got that I don’t have?  In fact, if we are being honest about things, I am probably more talented than he/she, and could probably do what they are doing even a little better if I was actually doing anything..  So go ahead, “so and so”. Keep doing that. Good for you. And when I get started some day, really get started, I’m sure I will be where you are.  And then I will pass you up.  And then see ya…eat my dust some day! Because from where I’m sitting,what you are doing looks easy! (Why do I resent you?)"

5. Become Sleep’s Little Bitch.

Success takes a lot of time and action on your part.  But if you love sleep more than hard work, you have a much better chance of staying Mild in your accomplishments. Use this simple quiz to find out if this you are Sleep’s Little Bitch:

Which would you rather do?

1a. Study                                                1B. Take a nap

2a. work out/do crunches                   2B. take a nap.

3a. have sex                                           3b. take a nap

4a. wake up                                            4b. take a nap

5a. make dinner for your child            5b take a nap

6a. chase your dreams                         6b. take a nap

7a. Do something. Anything.               7b. take a nap

If you answered four or more b’s, Congratulations! You are probably Sleep’s Little Bitch.

6. Don't be a Joiner

This can look many ways, but here's one variation:

“Ugh, look at (insert joiner's name here) Can they suck up any more to the boss?  I refuse to kiss anyone’s ass.  I’m going to sit here in the corner at the holiday party, and judge the crap out of that whole group of my peers over there brainstorming new ideas about how to do things more efficiently. They are just bowing to "The Man."  They may get the promotion at the end of the day, but I will still have my dignity.“

Note: Companies try to trick you into this by using the term "team player." 

7. Live in the unrealistic paradigm of Disney Magic for far too long.

When you wish upon a star, man.....

8. Quit things when they get really tough, because, “It's so hard, you guyyys…..”

I mean, doing hard stuff is really difficult. And when you say difficult, you really mean it.  When other people say things are “difficult,” it probably means that they just need to try a little harder. When YOU say something is “difficult,” you mean it can’t be done.

9. If you don’t give a crap, then don't even try making yourself give a crap.

This one is big. You can’t manufacture passion.**  You aren’t made that way. And without heart, your upward movement in your profession is over.  Finito.  At this point, you have truly achieved "Mild Success" status.

**If you can, you still have a real shot at "Highly Successful." Some people can work around not giving a crap, and you might even find yourself a little envious of that  quality when everyone is watching the very latest episode of "Breaking Bad," and you are still catching up on Season 3 of "Dexter" by streaming it through your Roku.  Some people love the quest for Success, regardless of the circumstances. For them, their spirit animal is a finely tuned Nascar speed machine, and success is their pace car. That's super cool, but it's not you.

Other people can muscle through less than inspiring work days for  a satisfaction that dawns only at the end of a long workday, when they look across the dinner table and see the fruits of their pains in the fashion forward hair cuts on the heads of their well adjusted, socially buoyant children. They then slowly turn their achy necks to the right and gaze, lovingly upon the spa’d up faces of their happy spouses who have  driven home in the safest cars money can buy according to the radio man with a posh, English accent. And those super safe cars smell extra delightful today, having been “Best Value Package” detailed during the mani-pedi/Gymboree shopping spree  because there is absolutely nothing wrong with that and maybe you should check yourself if you don’t think you are worth the good life and don’t knock it ‘til you try it.

Some people, perhaps, are dead inside, and can’t climb their way out.  They live in the rancid waft of resignation, having ignored a “yes” to their second wind of daydreams and rebellion.

Many are comfortable in the pot, as hot as it is.  They sit in the boiling water above the fire, and continually adjust to the rising, scalding heat: “It’s a Jacuzzi, honey!”

And then there are those who have broken through their apathy, and their rage against the system, and from their victorious vantage point you seem kind of lazy. A bit of a whiner, honestly. They know a sense of accomplishment that you, sadly, might never know with your present attitude.  Perhaps on their European vacation next month, they will sit under a beach umbrella and write a stinging rebuke to this list, begging you to reconsider your position. They will earnestly beckon you to a new life that still exists, potentially, on the very same trail alongside which you have pitched your Tent of Apathy for your next Nap of Non-Accomplishment.

But their pleas won’t work, because you are Mildly Successful, and proud of it. You are being propelled comfortably enough down the stream of life, with insurance and 403 B’s buffering you from the rocks and thorny brambles along the riverbanks on either side. Your pace is slow enough that if ever the window of a yearned for destiny opens itself up to you, you will still be able to plant your feet into the muck on the bottom, slow yourself down to a complete stop,  and abdicate your place in that busy, busy stream of other Mildly Successful people.

If and when that ever happens, you’ll probably get a sweet pot luck celebration during your 30 minutes of mandated lunch time, some heartfelt thank you notes stuffed in your mailbox in the copy room, some with handwritten email addresses begging you to “keep in touch.”  And then you’ll walk to your car with some left over cupcakes, and maybe a balloon or two. And, because you are only “Mildly Successful,” your departure, thankfully, won’t leave any gaping holes in the framework. Because someone else will gladly take your place, and they will bring new life to your position, and things will go on, because they always do.

And then, hopefully, you’ll get your shot at being  “Highly Successful,” however that looks in your daydreams.

#10: Don’t finish lists.

Thanks for reading, and carry on...

Old Single Mom

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