What is Success?
On our podcast ‘The Mind Leads Performance’, with Jon Gold and myself, we try and ask each of our guests what their definition is of success. It’s an interesting topic, and one that we’ve had a wide array of answers to. Here’s the thing, I don’t think any of the answers we’ve received from our guests is wrong. To define success in generalities is limiting to what success can be for each person. Success for one person, may not be for someone else. So what is interesting to me, then, is how do we strive for success when the goal posts of success are different for each individual? This brings me to this quote by Sara Blakely, the inventor of Spanx:
The goal is to be valuable, which to me means, to bring value to the world. If you are bringing value to the world, then you are serving, if you are serving others and helping people, you are successful. Chasing success causes us to chase outcomes and outcomes can be out of our control. The exact job we want, making a certain amount, or retiring at a certain age, all have factors that are out of our control. Now you definitely can hit those marks and having outcome goals as part of your success is good, and we want those in there, but our overall view of success should not be tied into those. If we tie ourselves to the outcomes as the whole part of our success, what happens if we don’t hit them, or our life takes a different turn? On the other side, what happens when we do hit them, have we obtained success and can stop? Are we fulfilled? Did we make it?
Success to me is more about chasing the best version of ourself so you can serve the world. So we can bring value, as Sara stated above. It’s more about the process of becoming, instead of the end goal. It’s about creating your why and living out of that, instead of living out of your goals and the outcomes. It comes down to the process. It is in the process of growth, it is in the process of getting better, it is in the process of figuring out what your value is and how that value helps the world. We all have value and we all have something to give to this world. Therefore, we can all have success, but it will look different for each person.
So to narrow it down my version of what success is comes down to this:
“Success is committing 100% to acting on your why on a daily basis”
If that is done, then you will be living out of who you are daily. You will be growing and changing daily, therefore, if goals and outcomes change, you can still have success in your life and it’s not tied to where you end up. If you chase your why, success will come. If you chase your values and your value to the world, success will come. If you serve others, success will come. Success is still about striving, working hard, and growing, but I believe the conversation around success needs to change from looking solely at the outcomes, yes that is a part, but to truly be successful, the daily process, and how we live out each day, is where success lies.