Success comes in many forms. Countless books have been written about it but in the end it is a very personal concept. What is successful to you might not mean a lot to me. In my Pilates venture success is very different than in my former corporate career. Let's contemplate.
According to Google's dictionary, success is (1) - the accomplishment of an aim or purpose and (2) - the good or bad outcome of an undertaking. To me the first explanation sounds like an economic reasoning, ie. the result of an organised action. The second bullet point has a more spontaneous ring to it. Less planned; the undertaking happened and there was a certain outcome.
How do you measure success? Is it an amount you made within a timeframe, the moment you can buy a new car or when you finally get invited to an exclusive club? Or..., is it finding your own path, happiness in life or being able to contribute selflessly to other people or beings? Is it actually important to have success?
With all the self-help tools around you might drown in measurement methods. I was never very interested in reading the 'how to become rich and successful-manuals'. So without these scales I have to find my own way. No-one has to be or feel successful.
However, gaining succes, ie. accomplishing something, does give you a nice feeling. In a lot of cases that comes down to doing something for the first time. From taking your first steps as a toddler to scoring your first job. It's the achievement you are proud of which you want to share with the world.
Measuring achievements sounds reasoned; as if you are keeping a list of all of your accomplishments. Over time the ones that stand out for you personally will survive. For me that is setting up a brand new life and a career in two foreign countries. Because I had to step out of my comfort zone and let go of my securities and guarantees.
When you have had success it is most likely you want to have it again. Perhaps not consciously but I have never heard anyone saying to not want to feel good again after they had achieved something. Can you plan success?
Erm, partially yes. Being fortunate - either through childbirth or the lucky stars - does give you a nice head start on the success charts but I do wonder if that is everlasting. Plus you might be successful in business but does that make you successful in your private life? Probably not. We have seen too many very successful business people falling apart along the way. Did they forget to upkeep their emotional success?
Keeping your success requires hard work and yes, planning. As far as the economic reasoning goes. My business only grows when I invest in it, promote it and when I get myself out there. But I believe that to keep your overall success is to set yourself different goals. Something that lifts your spirit, or rather someone else's. Your emotional success. For me that means spending time helping other people selflessly and recently more specific setting up community activities.
It is amazing when people declare themselves successful. Congratulations! I always wonder how they would know. Did they check their bank account, count their likes on Facebook or notice a doubling of their turnover?
In the end success is all about your own journey, how you have overcome obstacles, how you pushed through, didn't give up and cared about yourself and others whilst doing that.
Success is a balance between sense and sensibility.
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Marco Dingemans is a qualified Classical Pilates instructor