Defining Success

What does success look like? Is there a one-size fits all?

The other day I saw a quote on social media that said:

“Any success that happens at the expense of your health, your family or your character is not real success.”

I get the intent, it’s about finding the right goals. Appropriate goals. Meaningful goals. Things of value. But is it real? What is real success?

In a business world, I would agree. I have been there, spending days away from family in order to meet some sales goal. I’ve had shooting pains down my arm because a co-worker or manager isn’t up to their job and I am carrying extra baggage.

If I am honest, I’ve had those same pains because I wasn’t up to the job, or more likely, disengaged for some reason or another. In truth, towards the end of my career in retail and sales it was more often than not because I was being asked to care about things I knew in my heart had no value to anyone but shareholders.

I have let “success” come at the expense of my health and family in the past, and the reality is that other than a trip to DisneyWorld, it really wasn’t lasting success, and I found myself disliking the people who tried to convince me it was.

However, that’s only part of the story. Success comes in other places as well. Gandhi for example. Success ended his life. Of course, this doesn’t include the 150-200,000 people deployed in the US military (Sorry, time and space won’t allow me to list all military deployments of every nation). Their missions constantly jeopardize their health (and potentially their life), and they leave a worried family behind for long periods of time. What of first responders who run into burning buildings or put themselves in harm’s way to protect others? Is that not success?

Here are the three takeaways for today:

1 – Success is different to different people, and as ridiculous as it is, if someone feels better about themselves for meeting a sales goal at the expense of a tight chest and shooting pains, then who am I to say it’s not success?

2 – Success rarely, if ever, comes without sacrifice. Sometimes, as in the case of almost 210,000 brave young men at Normandy in 1944, personal well-being is the cost of success.

3 – Sweeping generalizations are wrong. Always, without fail.

When thinking of success, ponder this one scenario and question:

If you are blessed enough one day to be able to take time on your death-bed to look back on life, what will be the things you wish you would have done more of? These are the measures of success.

#mindset #goals #success #focus #opportunities #psychspot

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