“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the ings you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain.
Society talks about success all the time… and for many people that might be the old “American Dream”. Having a good job, a nice house, 2.5 kids and decent health, with perhaps the family dog and a white picket fence… or the 21st century equivalent.
I think it is also fair to say that success is a somewhat foggy concept for many people, who live their lives day to day hoping that “things will work out.”
The reality is that we are all different, and success might look different to each of us, so it is important to understand what that looks like.
“Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion.” Tony Hsieh
I also think that many people accept other’s ideas about what success should be. Their parents, their peers and others around them influence what success should look like.
“If you are willing to do more than you are paid to do, eventually you will be paid to do more than you do.” Anonymous
Here are my thoughts on success…
1. As I already mentioned, success is personal and should be specific to the individual.
2. Success embraces all areas of your life, so it is possible to achieve success in one part of your life at the expense of another, and if you are OK with that, then that is your call.
3. If you don’t have some kind of goals then it is difficult to know if you have achieved success.
4. If it is important to you that others recognize your success, then you need that success to be in line with their vision of success. The opposite applies too, if you do’t care what others think then your success goals are somewhat simplified.
5. No level of success comes without effort.
6. I try to achieve goals (success) in my professional life, with my health, with my relationships and in non-work activities. If I am “successful” in my career aspirations but it costs me my health then I don’t value that “success” very highly.
7. If I am healthy, have strong relationships, achieve my personal goals AND have career success then THAT is how I would define success.
8. To achieve MY type of success I need to know what “healthy” looks like; what relationships are important to me and what a strong relationship looks like; what those personal goals are, and what “career success” looks like.
9. It is possible to be very successful in the eyes of others… but not feel that way. And vice versa!
10. Very often your views on success move, as you achieve more. That is a good thing!
“Whenever you see a successful person, you only see the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them.” Vaibhav Shah
What do you think?
Are you successful? Are you heading in the right direction? Do you make a difference?
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle, one of Canada’s largest professional staffing companies. You can read more of his writing at the Eagle Blog