How do we rate success?
We are literally getting bombarded by life coaches seminars, motivational speakers and people around us who insist on wanting to make us successful people, like they know what does it mean to be successful for each of us.
If we follow the mainstream, we could define success as a highly paid job in a cool location, being a recognized Entrepreneur as well as the founder of a well-known (regionally/nationally/globally?) Company, or maybe we should just put ourselves on a side and consider Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg and the other Top- (how many?) billionaires in the world ranking.
So, what does it really mean to be successful?
What is the criteria to establish who is successful and who’s not? Does it come from a personal awareness or from other people’s judgement?Is it measured by the things that we own? Is there any difference in the projection of a successful woman or a successful man? And once reached, how long does it last? Is there any way to sustain it? Can it be associated with happiness at all?
These and other questions associated with the definition of success we might have addressed to ourselves can be answered only splitting the personal sphere from the professional one.
As easy as it might sound we should try to put down a clear and strictly personal definition of private life goal and professional ones and most importantly prioritize them. Once done, figure out how they can come together at one point, if they can, and in what time span you expect that to happen. For example, if you are planning to be full time mum within your 30s and at the same time build a solid career by reaching the top of a multinational company, this is generally very unlikely to happen unless you find yourself in a very fortunate situation or you are one of the next Silicon Valley genius.
Another aspect to consider is that a lot of people have never thought about how to become successful in their lives or what does it even mean for them, as long as they’re healthy and quite satisfied with their every day routine, hence they don’t need a plan to stick to.
Here’s some personal reflections about the topic.
Well, I don’t think there could be any personal success without having fulfilled the professional side. Being in a beautiful relationship with the love of your life (or a temporary one), have kids and a family to look after sounds great but (and here’s the cliché) getting up every morning with that feeling of ‘’should I really go? I hate that freaking place!’’ gives no reward on the long run.
I mean, it will be helpful to pay your bills and in some way to make your personal success sustainable but it won’t be enough. I’m sure you would easily think ‘Oh, I wish I could..’’. Well, the good news is that you always can. You always have a second chance to make things work and twist your life towards the desired direction if the current one doesn’t appeal you any more. Quoting Jim Rohn ‘’If you don’t like how things are, change it! You are not a tree’’. Surely, shit happens to everybody and life surprises us not so nicely at times, but still we have the tools to find that silver lining lying somewhere in there.
The major component to reach professional success is sacrifice.
Depending on what you want to obtain, there will be a lot of things you will have to be without. For example, if your dream and personal success definition is linked to becoming the best dolphins trainer in the world, you will probably have to move from your hometown and never come back for good, at least till you retire (ah, if you’re based in Italy, forget it anyway).
And what if you’re good at what you do, in any capacity? Well again, it’s up to your personal definition. You can be the best butcher in town or a Michelin chef in Paris, does it change anything for you? Do you feel that adrenaline-filled sentiment when compared to others, or you don’t care at all? That might either mean you feel 100% successful with your job or you are not willing to sacrifice anything to move forward your stable position. It is also true that everyone has its own limits in terms of determination, and so falling under that lifelong-frustration-feeling.
Is it possible to have both?
I hardly believe there could ever be a 50/50 balance. There will always be one side where you will feel more satisfied, more inclined to act towards, and so where you will put more effort in that resulting in a lack on the other side. But you can always work out how to adjust and reach a decent line of satisfaction at one point of life, when it comes to defining other priorities.
So, what is it?
There is no universal answer. That is the reason why the success question is of the main ones Be influenced has addressed to our interviewees.
It is pretty clear that everyone draws its own definition of success. Whatever yours is, define it, draw a plan, and stick to it!