In thinking of “success”, it is easy to obsess over wealth, accumulation, lifestyle, status, power, and all of the luxury promoted on television and in the movies today. But are any of these truly an accurate measure of success? Do you measure your own success based on some or all of these attributes? Most of us do. But let’s consider if we changed our units of measure and turned the standard view of success on it’s head.
The art of success is not something that can be measured. I call it an art, because it is something that takes practice and has a different meaning or interpretation for all of us. I’m not talking about the success you achieve when you finish running a race you trained hard for. Or completing an extended project with exceptional results. I’m talking about success in LIFE. There are some basic tenets that hold true for the majority of our population. When you are nearing the end of your days, do you think that the number in your bank account is going to be your measure of a successful life? Or how many cars you have in your garage? Or even how many garages you have? What is a life of “success” if there is no fulfillment?
Fulfillment – success on a life level – begins with gratitude. Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. Try spending 5 – 10 minutes every day focusing on three things that you are thankful for. I guarantee your life will change for the better because the more grateful you are, the happier you become and the more fulfilled you will feel.
If you are constantly chasing what the world sees as “success”, you know, a dollar amount or the next promotion or the next deal or the next round of funding, or the next spouse or the next house…or…you get the point…. What happens when you attain it? You’re excited for a short while, but then you are chasing the next “measure of success”. The end game is continually moving – and this cycle will leave you empty. Your expectations about how you will feel when you “get there” won’t be met. Right? We have all experienced this disappointment in some small way. It’s no different, except a larger scale.
If you focus on providing value to others, of course you will receive financial rewards in return regardless of whether this is from a paycheck or revenue for your own business. But this will also provide you with the sense of accomplishment every day that you gave your best. Whether that best is given to your client / customer / boss / friend / family – or even a stranger on the street, when you see them pleased or excited and joyful, it will fill you up and provide a purpose to all of your days on this earth.
And finally, what is it to be blessed without sharing? Give generously. We all have an abundance that we take for granted and by giving of our time or money or both, the act of contribution will remind you of just how blessed you really are.
Picture this with me: You are entering the very very last days of your life. You are looking back through the years…reminiscing… and eventually you are measuring your success in this world through the lens of your heart. What will truly matter? What units of measure will you be reflecting on? And how will they make you feel? I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe the number in my bank account will feel nearly as important then as it does today. It’s time to re-define success and actively pursue it. I am. Are you?