What does success mean to you? I’ve been reflecting on this lately since there seems to be so much light shown emphasizing the number of people who are focused on retaining power, acquiring wealth, and putting others down – ‘succeeding at any cost.’ I know this isn’t true for many of you but it has made me more aware of my own beliefs and how they’ve evolved through the years. I love Lyn Christian’s suggestion of not comparing our bloopers to someone else’s highlights. Really, it’s an unfair comparison isn’t it? How often do we do this to ourselves? I know I have and it only makes me feel worse. How about you?
Looking back I remember my time spent in corporate America. I remember the culture and role models as well as the environment. Perhaps things have changed but then the focus was on setting goals, objectives, achieving results and what have you done for me lately? Another common theme was ‘all glory is fleeting’. There weren’t many women in leadership roles then and I found I defined success by the results, recognition and awards I personally received as well as those of the team I represented. Profits, increased revenues, and reduced expenses were the focus. In today’s political environment we see a culture that supports winning at all cost. Is this your definition of success? I ask myself, “Where are truth, integrity, kindness, understanding, compromise, and compassion? Can’t they play a part in being successful?”
I’ve evolved and my definition of personal and professional success have changed. I recognize that being successful means different things to each one of us. I wonder if achieving results can be accomplished with more kindness, understanding, encouragement, support and compassion. I believe that they can. Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, has said, “There is only one kind of success that really matters: the success of transforming ourselves, transforming our afflictions, fear, and anger. This is the kind of success, the kind of power, that will benefit us and others without causing any damage.” What kind of contribution to results can be achieved when the focus is changing ourselves? Something to think about. We must change before others around us can. Our definition of personal and professional success can change at anytime and so can we.
I’ve learned that no one can define success for another person. We are individual and unique. We are more than our contribution to professional goals, results, and academic achievements. We are more than our relationships, families, political party affiliation, religious beliefs, financial status, where we live, things we own, awards and academic degrees. These are things that can improve quality of life but they aren’t who we are at our core. We are love!
How will life change if we focus on what brings us joy and happiness? What if we follow our heart when deciding what personal and professional success mean? Thich Nhat Hanh also reminds us that “We will be more successful in all our endeavors if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, and take little pauses to relax and re-center ourselves. And we’ll also have a lot more joy in living.” Imagine a life of balance, time for relaxation, and re-centering; finding ways to enjoy a life well lived filled with love, peace, gratitude, understanding, acceptance, compassion, kindness, helping others, and having fun! WooHoo! Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Are you ready to look at what success means to you?
Have an amazing week! Sending lots of love to each one of you.
I’m available for private coaching and channeled information sessions at Storm Wisdom on Tuesdays from 1p – 6p by appointment. Please call Storm Wisdom, (602)334-1204 to schedule. I’m also available by phone or Zoom. To schedule please go to victoriabarna.com.