“I want to be successful.” Friends and clients alike utter this simple phrase frequently. I love hearing these words and the conversation that unfolds when I inquire further on the view of success.
Success is an interesting concept as it is entirely subjective with a definition that varies from person to person. For many people, measures of success are tangible, distinct endpoints: graduating at the top of the class; achieving a specific job title; settling down with a life partner; completing a marathon; launching kids to college; purchasing a house; starting a business; selling a company; etc. The list is endless.
How wonderful it is to work towards something concrete that serves as a driving force to reach a specific goal. This can be motivating and move people along a desired path.
And then what? What happens after achieving the goal? If you have ever felt letdown or some degree of the blues after reaching the summit of the proverbial mountain you were climbing, you are not alone. It is natural to experience disappointment and wonder “what now?” after the feeling of accomplishment diminishes.
Getting lost in the endpoint can mean missing out on the experience while it is happening
Sometimes having our eyes on the grand prize can fog our view of the rewards in the foreground. For example, in my quest to climb the corporate ladder, I sacrificed key family activities while my kids were young. Professionally, I received the promotions and accolades for which I strove. I was successful – – from a career perspective – – and not feeling it. No superpowers or magic wand accompanied my new job title. I was caught off guard by a feeling of emptiness that signaled something was missing. I didn’t know if this void was the space created by no longer channeling my energy into achieving the goal, or a hole in my soul for missing that which I dearly valued – relationships.
Clearly Define Your View of Success
Creating memories with my kids and experiencing key milestones in real time during the fleeting period when I was the center of their universe was more valuable than the impressive paycheck I earned. My definition of success had evolved and I realized that my new meaning was less about professional status and more about being in the moment and living without regret. Success for me was about being a present, engaged parent and enjoying my family. With this epiphany, I pivoted to focus on what I valued most. This does not mean that everyone should quit their jobs to make play dough and visit museums. Rather, this is an invitation to look inwards and be open to self-development and the growth it yields with respect to your personal view of success.
Identifying what success means to you
Defining your vision of success begins by becoming aware of what matters most to you right now. Priorities may shift due to variable circumstances in life so it makes sense that your definition of success today may not be what it was in the past or will be in the future. Second, understanding why your top priorities are important is useful and connects you to your core values. Transformational coaching helps you get in touch with both of these – – the what and the why.
How are you living your best life without regrets?