Where Success Meets Happiness
I love canvassing the topic of success because it's one of those things that often the reply is “Oh, success is whatever you define it as”.
Ah, no. That always reminds me of the ‘good try' ribbon in the running race at school.
A problem I frequently see with this mentality is the conversation for people stops there and they don't take the thought process any further. Or perhaps even more self defeating, is listening to someone else's idea of success and becoming disenchanted or deterred because it's not what is true to you.
I remember in my years of being a trainer that success was always measured by your clients results, the number of clients you had, how full your sessions were. Sounds reasonable, right? The reality was even though I had all those things happening in my training business, there was something missing.
I was happy my because clients were happy. I was happy because my clients got results, and I was happy my Accountant was happy. But I wasn't happy in myself, so how could I define this as successful? Maybe it was to a measure, but it was someone else's measure of success. For me, success meant that I was feeling fulfilled, stimulated, engaged and these were qualities that I needed to feel happy at that time
Measuring success by definable outcomes is all well and good and something we have historically done, but it can also lead to lacklustre results for you personally and not making those extraordinary achievements. The truth for me was after quite some time of reflection, I found I wasn't currently enjoying my chosen career. Strangely, I chose to battle on because the business was ‘successful'.
When I could take this state of feeling so unfulfilled no longer, I embarked on a voyage of self discovery which also changed my career path. One day in early Spring I was taking a walk with my dog when all of a sudden I realised that I felt different. It honestly took me a while to grasp what this strange feeling was, but I realised it was a sense of peace and calm. All of a sudden I got it. It was happiness. This was something that had eluded me my whole life. I finally understood what all those people were talking about when they said they were happy. I felt like some GuRu had shone his torch right into my heart and all of a sudden I had found peace and joy and yes, happiness.
I also felt successful. I felt like I had finally ‘made' it and I felt abundantly rich.
Success is a very individual thing. Perhaps you have specific goals, perhaps you have no idea or if it's even available to you (I assure you, it is)
Here are some of my key determinants to know if you are on track for success
- What word best describes how you feel in your every day life?
- How do you want to feel?
- Do you feel like you are missing something vital?
- What have you done to achieve that?
- Is it working?
- If not, what's your next step to make it happen.
Happiness can be elusive. Like all emotions, it's transient and it will come and go depending on your experiences. However being able to dig down and define those experiences so that you can work to achieve that state, is pure gold. That way if it leaves you, you know what you need to do in order to get it back.
Photo credit : Flickr