Your Definition of Success May Be the Very Thing Holding You Back
Throughout our lives we have all been taught to feel and understand success to be best defined like this:
“SUCCESS is the accomplishment of an aim or a purpose.”
“The accomplishment”? I found that almost every definition of success inferred that it was an achievement found at the end of some action. And that’s exactly what I have been taught all my life. It’s the end of an achievement, but what if you didn’t complete or accomplish what you set out to do? It happens. Does that make you a failure? That to me was a pretty depressing way to look at life. I don’t know about you but I have not completed everything I ever tried to do but I in no way considered myself a failure then or even now. So……
How about we define the TRUE meaning of SUCCESS?
In order for us to begin feeling successful about our lives right now we need to redefine our measuring stick for what success looks like. Looking at success the way we have always been taught to see it inspires feeling of anxiety and stress. We feel these things while pursuing a goal because we feel pressure to complete it and failure if we fall short. These feelings are even greater if we define our success by comparing them to the achievements of others. And if you ever feel like you have fallen short by comparison, then it will be difficult at best for you to see the success you have already achieved along the way.
By redefining success and looking at it as something far more reaching and fluid, we will be able to see and feel more success in our lives every day. For example if you were to ask a practicing dentist if he was a successful dentist, I think he would probably chuckle and say something like “I must be, I still have patients and they haven’t revoked my license yet.” Success to him is something achieved every day and not just an accomplishment recognized at his retirement from dentistry.
Success is NOT achieved or to be felt at the end of some action;
SUCCESS is the positive emotional feelings gained and felt from progressive achievements while pursuing a goal, aim or purpose.
For most of my life and I know I am not alone in this, I always felt pressure, anxiety and frustration while working towards finishing a project because I hadn’t gotten to the finished part yet. But when I finally did get there it was a sigh of relief and a short lived feeling of success and accomplishment before the next goal stared me in the face. Then of course the cycle of frustration and anxiety started all over. I had achieved a lot in my life but never seemed to enjoy the accomplishment as much as I thought I would nor for as long as I hoped I would.
That was before I discovered something I had never even considered. Experiencing happiness and success is an ongoing process, not an end result. If I had learned to feel and see the success that comes from the progression of moving forward towards my goals, I would have also felt the long term happiness that went along with it instead of those feelings being so short lived in the end.
The way I had always learned to feel was that I could enjoy the happiness that came from achieving a goal after I had achieved it but never really felt the success of the progress. I imagine that if I had not had such tunnel vision looking at the final goal, by seeing the success I had already achieved, I may have seen even more opportunities for greater success along the way.
Don’t mistake what I am saying here. Having focus on your goal is imperative. You will never get to where you want to go without aim but while you are driving down that road to where you want to go, don’t forget to look out the side window to enjoy the ride. You might be amazed at the wonders and opportunities you will see along the way. This could make your journey far more successful than you ever imagined. It will also make reaching the final destination that much more extraordinary.
Realistically success in business and in life means something different to each of us, as it should because we all have different ambitions and ideas of what is important to make our lives feel fulfilled. Whether you are striving to be a great teacher or building an empire, if it seems to others that you have succeeded but you feel no attached happiness from the journey getting to where you are now, then you have not succeeded at all. You may have achieved but you have not succeeded.
Achievement is always attached to specified results, monetary or physical things but feeling successful is always attached to the happiness found in the progression from one achievement to the next. If you think about success as something you experience as you progress, instead of something you attain once you’ve accomplished, you will also begin to experience the happiness and joy that comes from the journey itself instead of the pressure and frustration of not yet having arrived.
I’m not sure about you but feeling successful makes me feel happy. And when I am happy I feel successful. And when I feel happy and successful I see happiness and success all around me. You just can’t separate the two because they are so closely dependent on each other
Successful people are not necessarily happier people but happier people are more successful.
Look for further discussions about your happiness and success in upcoming posts. Stay Tuned…Better yet sign up to follow by email!
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