Success is one of those concepts that we all understand, and yet, in reality it means something different to each individual. What might represent financial abundance to you might represent poverty to someone like Donald Trump.
Your concept of being physically fit is probably not the same as that of an elite Olympic athlete. While swimming a quarter of a mile might represent your new personal best, to someone about to swim the English Channel it doesn’t mean much.
Identify what being successful means to you!
To be successful in any endeavor the first thing we need to do is to identify exactly what success in that area means to you personally. Your pattern of achievement will follow your definition. Many people focus on being successful in just one area of their life such as relationships or business. That’s probably why it is so common to see those who are very successful in one area, but struggling in others.
Another thing that can happen when pursuing success is that we choose to make a conscious trade off by neglecting one or more aspects of life in order to succeed in another. For example, workaholics don’t generally have the most meaningful family lives. Everyone at work may see them as extremely successful, but is that how their families are likely to feel?
On the other side of the spectrum we might find a very devoted family man who excels at being a husband and father, but struggles to make ends meet. While he has succeeded in an area that a workaholic has not, his attainment probably doesn’t bring him much recognition from the business community.
A broader definition of being successful
While any level of accomplishment, in any area of life, can be gratifying, I prefer a much broader and more balanced version of being successful. I would rather raise the level of my whole life experience than pursue billionaire status while everything else falls by the wayside. Life should be viewed as a synergistic adventure where goals in one area contribute to the whole. My concept is actually one of synergistic success.
So when we think of living a truly successful life, we are really talking about having a reasonable measure of success in many different areas. For that to be a reality, it’s absolutely vital that we establish a definition for what it means to succeed in each of those areas and then analyze how succeeding in that area can contribute to the other areas. This is the only way that we can gauge our progress without throwing everything else out of balance.
Aspects of being synergistically successful
If you were to list the various important areas of your life that you would like to keep in balance, what would you include? The reason I am writing this article is not to give you my definition of whole life success, but to encourage you to think about what synergistic success means to you personally.
What areas of life matter most to your broader version of being successful? For you to feel like a totally successful person, what elements would need to be included? If you are willing to take the time to actually define your personal vision of a successful life, then you can design a plan that contributes to that vision. If you ignore this step, you may end up neglecting the most important areas of your life in pursuit of a mirage.
How do you measure success?
People tend to measure success by the results that they can see. Sadly, many people consider material wealth as the most accurate indicator of a successful person. When you look for signs of success, what do you see? Do you consider the wonderful husband and father of modest means who is well liked and appreciated by everyone he knows as successful? How about the very wealthy person who makes everyone around him miserable, but drives a Rolls Royce Phantom and lives in a 27 room mansion?
It is important to realize that successful is not so much something that we do, it’s something we become. First we succeed on the inside, in our minds, and then we can become successful on the outside. So before you go chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, why not take the time to figure out exactly what success means to you?
How much money would it take for you to feel successful?
How do you value relationships compared to income?
The lines are open!
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