How do you measure success? It means something different to everybody, I suspect. Society defines it as having financial security and respect as the result of a lucrative career. Add in a nice home and stable family life and you’ve officially “made it.” But that doesn’t necessarily encapsulate success for me.
All of that is great, of course – IF that is your dream and your heart’s desire. To me, success is much more personal and something that cannot be measured by society. I was never one to consider what “they’re” all doing or saying. (Who are ‘they,’ anyway?!)
Success isn’t always pretty. It comes from fierce determination and following your heart when everybody tells you otherwise. It often follows on the heels of a mistake (or several). The best kind of success rises from the ashes of failure. It is not the result of pursuing the status quo, but of building a life based on vision – Your vision.
More simply, if you are happy, then you are successful. I don’t mean the smiling, liking the moment happy, although that certainly has it’s own merits. I’m talking about a deeper contentment. A deep, personal satisfaction with where you are in life.
Here is an exercise that I saw recently to help redesign your life to ensure that you are working toward your vision for success. Make a list of the things you want from life – It can be things like strong family bonds, a clean/green home, an intimate relationship, to be close to nature. Take your time and really think about it. Next, make a list of the things you do routinely: Include your job, regular activities, leisure/hobby ventures.
Compare the two lists. Check of the things on the second list that are in alignment with or support the things on the first. Cross off the things that do not contribute, in some way, to your visions.
Are your actions leading you toward your vision of success? Are you spending your precious time and energy building the kind of life you want?
Identify your role models in life – people who lead the kind of life that you admire. Ask them, if you can, how they achieved the things or qualities that you admire? Understand that it’s a process and that it takes work, sacrifice and patience. It is the result of lessons learned and risks taken.
Think about what success means to you. When you look back on your life, what will bring you pride? What will you regret not doing? It’s never too late to change your focus or tweak your existence. You can reinvent yourself, if that’s what you decide is required.
You only get one life. Make it one that you can Iive with!