Ask ten people the definition and you will likely get ten different answers. As such, here is my working definition: success is the continual expansion of happiness, fulfillment and progression to the next goal. In other words, if the goal is to reach Point B and I arrive at that destination, Point B should become the new Point A and serve as a launch pad to the new Point B further out on the continuum. The process repeats over the journey of life.
Why is it important to keep striving for the new Point B? Thomas Merton said “the biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.” How many times have you ‘settled for too little’? Perhaps frustrated, aggravated and tired – you throw in the towel at the first roadblock. Or at the first Point B, you think the climax is over and everything else will be the proverbial downhill slide. Success is the ability to continually expand while moving to the next goal with purpose. It is also about taking all those moments when things didn’t work out the way anticipated and using it as a learning mechanism to more efficiently attack your purpose and goals next go around.
I believe everyone has a purpose and it continues to exist until there is no longer breathe in the body. Of course, over the span of life, the micro of the purpose may adjust but the macro stays basically the same. Purpose is found deep in our hearts and is usually tied to the things we love and at which we are good.
Success, true success is 360 degrees. It is a full rotation around our lives and encompasses the personal, professional and spiritual. With whimsy, I often say during Success presentations “if you cussing folks out at the office, you probably cussing folks out at home.” I believe it true. The continual and complete expansion of happiness and fulfillment is hard to find when our lives are compartmentalized and discord exists within the compartments. When we act one way at work, another way at home, another way at church, another way with friends, and on and on and on, it is an exhausting feat to keep all those situational personalities going. The 360 circle of success defines a happy, fulfilled individual on all fronts while journeying to the next Point B.
Three sixty success requires a foundation of good poise and good preparation from which good expectations for the pursuit abound. Often, we set out on the pursuit without the poise or preparation elements in place. When the pursuit is prematurely started and the expected result is not delivered, it can produce the thought success is not within reach.
So, how do we make success happen?
- Determine your level of poise. Here, poise is defined as dignified, composed, confident self-possession, and mature in ways of handling personal and professional business. For example, if showing up late is your middle name, it can denigrate your level of poise and lessen your ability to achieve your expected level of success. On the other hand, if your day is pre-planned and you are in a position to exceed your goals and obligations, then the expected result can be the same. A state of poise requires you to know your unique value proposition and be able to briefly communicate it to others. What makes you different than the next person striving to do the same thing? Knowing the answer and why someone should want you on their team is an integral part of building success.
- Are you prepared? Equipped is a vital component to the state of being prepared and readied for the pursuit. Have you obtained the necessary skill, education, and other developmental attributes necessary to accomplish your goal? Have you strategized and maximized the planning process, capitalizing on opportunities presented and counted the costs of execution (monetary, emotionally, physically, spiritually)? Your dream and passion may be to start an afterschool program but without knowing the state requirements, start-up costs, physical demands, emotional stress and other details, it is unlikely that it will produce the dreamed results.
The pursuit process should begin only after the poise and prepared steps have been laid. It’s formulaic application crosses the segments of personal, professional and spiritual. It is the process of gaining and attaining the goals set forth. Many may associate poised and prepared with business pursuits alone. Think about it for a moment. It can be applied to completing a college degree, getting ready for marriage, setting up a budget, planning for a child, and other life events. For example, one cannot obtain a college degree without the prerequisite of lower education, a set number of classes, and other requirements that need to be met before the degree is given. One should not haphazardly show up on the first day and expect that’s all there is to it. Neither should one set out in pursuit of a goal without poise and preparation for the journey.
Apply these processes to your life and see if the taste of success doesn’t find you. Be encouraged for the journey!
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