A while back, Jonny at thelifething.com ask me to participate in a success eBook by answering two questions: What is Success? and How Do You Achieve it? I had to answer each question with a single sentence and that made it tough. There are a lot of ways to answer both questions and putting them in a single sentence is necessarily going to limit your answer, but I thought it was great idea. Head on over to The SUCCESS EBook (it’s free) and find out how 25 others answered the same question. I was surprised at how many of the definitions of success reflected thoughts similar to mine in that they didn’t emphasize material success.
I answered that success was having the freedom and ability to do those things you truly want to do and that reflect your most deeply held values. I said that you achieve success by eliminating the 80% to 90% of your commitments, activities, and relationships that don’t totally align with those values.
You may think that 80% to 90% is extreme, but I’m sticking with it. When people are making the choices about what to stop doing to make room for the things they really want to do, they generally choose the easy stuff like watching less TV. In reality most of what they think they have to do or is essential, are the things that do not reflect their true values. I wrote about eliminating these in The Brain Surgeon, the Janitor, and the Six-Inch Pizza and Edit Your Life.
Another important factor in getting to meaningful success is detaching yourself from outcomes. That may sound hard or paradoxical, but I don’t think it is. It’s not what you get, it’s what you do. A specific outcome is not going to make you happy. Living your values is going to make you happy. When you are successful, you aren’t attaining something, you are doing something. At least that’s the way I look at it. This was explored in A Values-Based Approach to Goals and Redefining Our Ultimate Goals.
What do you think? Leave a comment and join the conversation.
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