I have had a great career so far, working in and with some of the worlds best loved brands and yet it has only been in the last 8 years or so that I have established what success means to me.
I like many people go through life with a view that I am living out the had I was dealt. Almost like the path has already been decided for us. Success for me was always what other people had told me it needed to look like. Here are some of the things I have been told:
- Get a great job that pays well so you can be comfortable
- Don’t upset the apple cart, keep your head down and stay off the radar
- Buy a house, you cannot beat bricks and mortar
Whilst that may be good advice for some, it certainly did not allow me to decide what I wanted. The people I have had in my life from the moment I was born probably did have my best intrests at heart, they handed over their own personal life experience which had been formed from good, and poor decisions in a bid to influence the decisions I would then go on to make. Other people in my life have perhaps had their own interests as their priority, leading you towards things that would ultimately benefit themselves.
In any of these instances, I was deciding what success looked like, other people were.
The reality is the moment I realised my future and ultimately my success was firmly in my grasp I began to take it much more seriously. I realised that as much I was not entirely sure of what I did want in the long term, I was absolutely certain I knew what I did not want.
Other people and society itself can apply immense pressure that can dictate how you live your life. It can push us into making compromises in order to please others. It can also lead us to a fundamental lack of fulfilment or purpose, which in turn leads to unhappiness and resentment.
Think about the job you might like to have, the house you would like to live in, the family or friends you would like to have around you, the car you drive, the holidays you have, the activities you would love to do in your spare time. If you are struggling to think of something, start of by thinking about what you don’t want.
Over the years I have asked that question of many people on the Choices programme. ‘What does success look like to you?’. It is rare that anyone can really answer that question with any confidence. So instead, I ask this; ‘Do you want something different in your future than you have today?’. Every time I am greeted with an overwhelming ‘YES!’.
I think I am clear on what success means to me today. I know what house I want to live in and where that house will be. I know who I want to spend every waking minute of the day with and I certainly know what car I want to drive! I also know that whilst for a long time I went to work to make money and have a good job, I now see a bigger purpose in life. I have the ability to inspire others and help them become the best versions of themselves. For me that success has meaning and purpose, its no less nor any greater than my other measures of success, it does however, make them even more fulfilling.
The New Zealand All Blacks Rugby Team clearly want to win. They are the most successful rugby team ever in history. They have maintained the number 1 world spot for 85% of the time since records began. What does success look like to the All Blacks… Winning? Of course, however there is much greater success measure at play. ‘To inspire and unify New Zealanders’ They are role models in society and they see an opportunity to shape and influence future generations and they take this job very seriously. When you success measure is clear, you will work hard to ensure everything you do is working towards it.
Entrepreneur Chris Grosser at 18 years old utilised social media to launch a photography business, within a short period of time he had successfully marketed to and received millions of online views in over 85 countries worldwide. Chris has a tagline that summarises my point…
“Opportunities don’t happen. You create them…”
You must define what success looks like to you, by your standards and no one else’s. If you do not know where you are going, all roads lead there.
The Choices Personal Development Programme is designed to help define what success means to you. To find out how you can be involved in choices either as a participant or as a service provider email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.