A few years ago, I was busy packing for a business trip to Brussels. My then 2-year-old daughter was jumping in and out of my suitcase. When that didn’t get mamma’s attention, she grabbed my Blackberry. Somehow, within less than a minute, she managed to lock it. I freaked out. Here I was racing behind schedule and I couldn’t access my phone. I frantically thought of my options. It was a public holiday in Italy, where I live, so the IT department was not available. (Crazy, right? Most Italians are actually “off” when they’re off.) Many frantic and failed attempts at access later, I arrived at the airport. In honesty, even if I am ashamed to admit it, it wasn’t until I’d boarded a corporate jet a half hour later that I realized how ridiculous the whole situation was: Here I was leaving for 4 days and I was worried about my emails, not about how much I would miss my daughter.

Watching the majestic islands of Venice roll out and disappear behind me, pampered in a thick leather chair with fresh fruit, a warm croissant, and a newspaper by my side,

I decided it was time for a change.

Now don’t get me wrong – all those perks were wonderful. But at that rate nothing was ever going to be enough. I’d just keep chasing the next best thing. And chasing wasn’t making me happy. I needed to kick the habit. I needed to find a better way – a way that mirrored my core desires, like pampered travel, AND my core values, like playing with my daughter in the snow. It was time to take a step back and reconnect with what I really wanted and needed to lead a happy and fulfilling personal and professional life. And that’s what this series is about. How one gal continues to redefine success by kicking some perfectionist habits and reconnecting to what’s important.