Success is something most human beings desire and gravitate towards. The word itself has a rich, positive connotation.
A lot of products and services get sold based on the promise of success. Buy this or do that and will find yourself in the winner’s camp.
But what does success mean to you?
Is it about the achievement of short or long-term goals or more external measures of what society defines as successful?
Or fundamentally is it about the quest for happiness and well-being that we think it will provide?
“The good news is that the moment you decide that what you know is more important than what you have been taught to believe, you will have shifted gears in your quest for abundance. Success comes from within, not from without.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Success may be an abstract term but it has a lot of emotional and psychological currency attached to it.
For me, at a professional level, the essence of success embraces the gift of learning, growing and developing both personally and professionally and being able to contribute in a meaningful and rewarding way.
More personally, it is about loving and feeling loved by family and friends and experiencing good levels of health, well-being and wisdom – thing I have appreciated more with the passing years!
How about you? What will be success for you in 2016?
It seems that to find fulfilment in life, we have to find something that is bigger than ourselves. Dr. Martin Seligman, an eminent American psychologist and founder of Positive Psychology outlines three types of happiness:
The first one, the Hollywood type, he calls the ‘pleasant life.’ This consists of having as many pleasures as possible and savouring them but in spite of these pleasures, happiness can still be elusive.
The second type of happiness is described as the ‘good life’ where people learn what their strengths are and use them as much as possible in their daily life. This is seen as being more attainable.
The third form of happiness he describes is the ‘meaningful life.’ This is ‘ineluctably pursued by humans….knowing what your highest strengths are and deploying them in the service of something larger than you are.’
With the new year, make sure your success measures are based on things that really matter to you focusing on your mission, core purpose, values, passion and vision.
Here are some other thoughts to ponder:
- Success is passion, possibility and perseverance over time
- “Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” Swami Vivekananda
- “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” Bill Gates
- Success and failure are two sides of a coin. Failure can teach more than success but learn from both!
- “We need to take our best ideas, our strongest intuitions, and we need to test them. We need to measure whether we’ve been successful, and we have to be willing to fail, to be wrong, to start over again with lessons learned.” Angela Lee Duckworth
- Maintaining success can be harder than achieving success
- “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan
- “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill
As you reflect, I would love to hear what your idea of success is for 2016? Please feel free to share.
* Jasbindar Singh is a coaching psychologist working with managers and leaders to enhance their self awareness and leadership effectiveness.