It’s easy to admire people from afar, see what amazing things they’ve achieved and perhaps think ‘that could never be me’. So what is it that makes a ‘successful’ person and what even is ‘success’? This itself is such a subjective judgement. You may have all the money and physical riches in the world but be mortally unhappy. Does that make you successful? You may have an amazing job, but be longing for a happier home life. You may have the dream family or relationship but spend eight hours a day in a soul draining job.
However subjective your view of ‘success’, for me, one thing’s for sure: success must include happiness and health. I have a very dear friend afflicted by mental health and in spite of being a truly inspirational woman – a successfully published author, PhD holder and generally amazing, kind, human being – she would give that all up to have what she calls ‘normality’ in her life; her health.
So this week, I have chosen a woman I see as a true inspiration in the community in the UAE, Kerrie Alder. The 44-year-old founder of activewear Lorna Jane’s first franchise outside Australia has used activewear as a means of bringing women together under the umbrella of fitness and healthy living, termed the The Sporty Sisterhood. She has reached out to inspire the local community and generally been an amazing networker to help inspire from the ground up.
She came to the UAE 13 years ago working in banking and financial services but set up the brand’s first shop in Dubai three years ago, starting from home and now with four outlets, Kerrie turning her back on the corporate world she had before, the lavish lifestyle it could have afforded her, the sports car. She had a bigger calling. She has since been behind the scenes of many women’s fitness initiatives around the emirates and continues to very humbly do so. So after much tough persuasion, this very inspiring woman will share her five habits which help her cultivate the life she has built for herself.
Being true to your own rituals and habits: truly identifying what they are and understanding what makes YOU successful, and that has YOU firing at your best, ready to take on the world and achieve amazing things. Your habits for success are personal to YOU, you can’t borrow them from other people. And, the most important thing is a habit of regularly checking that you are being true to them. I find that when I am in a slump, or finding life challenging in some way, then my habits have slipped, not just one, usually a few.
Jump out of bed: Well ok, not always a jump, maybe a roll, or a sludge – but get up always when the alarm goes off, even when you don’t feel like it. Snoozing never ever results in a better day or better results. I never find myself saying “oh that was a great extra 10 minutes, that really changed the day”, the only exception maybe perhaps when I am sick. Oh yes, and I am an early riser, it’s the best part of the day – other than an amazing sunset, see habit 4.
Getting active: preferably early in the day, and ideally outdoors. A run is fantastic, but simply even breathing in the day, seeing the sunrise, or a simple 15min walk starts the day the right way – I NEVER ever regret it. And if I can’t, or simply don’t have time I will drive for a bit with the window open, or walk the last block to a meeting, even take the stairs just to get the blood moving and the heart pumping.
Reset with nature: the ocean is my preference – either kite surfing on it, walking or running alongside it, or simply an amazing sunset whilst watching the waves roll in – this always centres and calms me and helps to reset the mind. When I do it I feel amazing, and can think way more clearly, and any challenges or problems you have seem so much smaller afterwards, I usually even find a solution quickly after.
Giving back: I don’t necessarily mean by having volunteered my time to build something, joining a charity, or being sponsored to do some amazing physical feat – all of which are completely awesome of course, but giving back some of YOU every day, in any small way. It is such a part of me that I don’t even think about it (until someone points it out) – some excess “things” I have here, some food I have there, some insight or advice to setting up or running a small business, or how to face a property challenge, simply putting people in touch for mutual benefit (theirs not mine), lifting this, carrying that…….it just happens, it’s a habit, and I can’t stop it, in fact mostly I don’t even realise I am doing it, and I never stop to think “what’s in it for me ?”. Just give a piece of you every single day anyway.
**Lorna Jane is in Town Centre, Beach Road, Dubai and you can find them on social media, @lorrnajaneme