Are you successful? The catch is in how do you define it.
My personal definition of success starts with my definition of balance. It is not having to say know to any of the important priorities in my life as defined by my personal values. Without balance, it is impossible to be successful. Gemmologists say that a diamond cannot show its brilliance until all of its facets are in balance. I firmly believe that people are the same; if your life is out of balance you cannot show your personal brilliance. How can you be successful if your brilliance is suppressed?
Is Success is Being Rich?
In their book 101 Distinctions between Success and Failure, Keith Smith and Doug Hanson make the following distinction, “Success is being rich in every area of life. Failure is improving one area of your life at the expense of another.” If rising to the top of your field costs you a divorce and alienation of your children are you really successful? If making that large income makes you too sick or miserable to enjoy it are you really rich and successful?
Are You Choosing Balance?
A rich and balanced life does not happen by accident. It has often been said that where you are today is a result of yesterday’s choices. You have to choose balance; no one else can do that for you. Start by defining what balance means to you. It is not spending equal hours on all aspects of your life. I believe, as I indicated above, that it is not saying no to the things that are truly important to you. Like health, family, adequate time for the recreation that recharges your energy, time to learn or whatever makes your priority list. If you wait until you are not so busy to do it there is a good chance it will never happen. That is what happened in my case. I would balance things as soon as work slowed down; it slowed down when I collapsed in full burnout and was medically forced to take eight weeks off. If you assume that eight weeks is 320 hours that is approximately an hour a day for a year. Which do you think would have led to greater productivity and balance; an hour a day off for a year or 8 consecutive weeks of being sick? It is a rather easy answer when you think of it that way. Isn’t hindsight grand? Why not use my mistakes to choose not to make your own?
Check your current balance with my free 8-question profile.
Is Knowledge Power?
If you have been reading “my stuff” or have been to one of my trainings/coaching sessions, speeches or done an online course with me you will know I don’t think knowledge is power. Knowledge is potential power. Action based on knowledge is power. What we need to do is take the knowledge we have developed and develop an action plan based on that knowledge. Use the self knowledge gain from the balance profile to decide which area you want to work on first.
What Do You Want?
The first knowledge you need is self-knowledge. I am often amazed with coaching clients that have stress based on doing things that are in conflict with their values. When I ask them what values are most important to them the response is “Well I guess I never thought about it.” They are frequently very sheepish when they say, “What I am doing really is in conflict with what I believe.” Once they make that discovery the solution comes to them and the stress goes away.
Barack Obama goes home for dinner most days at 6:30. Why can’t you?