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  • #1002942
    staceybarr
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    I think that my definition of success is actually retarded, rather than advanced, on account of my work. I’m a business performance measurement specialist, who is big on helping people to measure and track their goals, the results they want from their business.

    So it’s too easy for me to judge my success based on numbers. Profit, sales conversion, leads generated, customer satisfaction, and so on. I easily tie my sense of self-worth to numbers like these. And boy, oh boy is that a problem! I just have to miss a target, and suddenly I feel a complete failure. It gets me very down and I struggle to climb out of it.

    So recently, I wrote an A4 page entitled “Stacey’s Manifesto for a Beautiful Life” and it lists – in very descriptive and sensory language – what a beautiful life is to me. What I feel when I wake up each morning, the fun things I have to look forward to, that I have plenty of time to do what I need to and what I want to, that I spend my time with people I love and who inspire me, that I am of service to others in helping them reach their own goals, that I take care of my health and wellbeing easily and with pleasure, that I spend my time exploring the world and practicing yoga and cooking chocolate things for friends and learning to sail. There’s more but I think you get the idea.

    Very qualitative, not at all quantitative. All words and no numbers.

    It was very liberating. I read it morning and night, and want to commit it to memory. The numbers ARE very important, but they are important for learning and not for judging our success. I’m now just starting to see how my own definition of success doesn’t have to involve numbers at all.

    #1002943
    Renee Barber
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    Success … what an interesting word.

    For me, success has been leaving the corporate ‘rat race’ and working for myself from the place I love most: home.

    I can be flexible about the projects I wish to do and generally work during my own hours (hence why I woke up at 3 am; a nap will definitely be happening later today!)

    Really, for me, success is all about freedom and personal growth.

    #1002944
    Burgo
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    success is all about freedom and personal growth.

    I really like this statement.

    But what is freedom and personal growth?
    How does it fit in to the equasion with business, do we measiure our success by the amount of freedom it gives us.

    Does Freedom rquire money?

    #1002945
    Renee Barber
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    Re: How do you gauge (had to change that!) success

    Just like success, freedom and personal growth are subjective … so, too, is happiness.

    I remember reading a study somewhere that indicated after a certain level of income an increase in income is not associated with a proportionate increase in happiness levels. I did a quick google and found this article: http://www.american.com/archive/2008/may-june-magazine-contents/can-money-buy-happiness. I haven’t read it in its entirety, but the highlights I read seem to bear out what I think about the topic.

    Does anyone know who said (paraphrase from memory), ‘The true secret to happiness is not having more, but wanting less’?

    #1002946
    Burgo
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    ‘The true secret to happiness is not having more, but wanting less’?

    Sounds like something you would find in Proverbs.
    Not many can look at it that way
    Besides thats about happiness, but what about success.
    Does success bring happiness, or vice versa?

    #1002947
    LeelaCosgrove
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    The problem with ‘happiness’ as a goal is that it’s unrealistic.

    You’re not going to be happy all the time.

    Not even most of the time.

    That’s why those moments of true happiness are so special …

    Sure, money doesn’t buy happiness … money is an abstract (as is happiness but lets not get too philosophical!) … it’s just a tool. That said, I’ve always been happier WITH money than without. The happiest times in my life haven’t been about money, but without money many of them couldn’t have happened … there would have been debt collectors calling slap bang in the middle of them!

    Success does bring happiness. And happiness does bring success.

    The dictionary definition of happiness is “feeling or showing pleasure or contentment”.

    What’s pleasure or contentment? Again – it’s so subjective.

    For me, it’s hanging out with my husband … that hasn’t always been happiness, it hasn’t always been easy … it’s hard work building a strong relationship … but the end result is pleasure and contentment.

    Same goes for my business.

    Same goes for the puppy.

    Same goes for everything I have in my life.

    Sometimes stuff is hard and there is no contentment or comfort. Sometimes it’s a grind that threatens to wear you down. Sometimes you just want to scream and throw it all in (those of us working at home have the luxury of actually screaming and taking some time off …).

    And then something beautiful will happen … a kind word from a client. A windfall profit. The acknowledgment of your peers.

    And you think … HOW can anyone have a job? How can anyone NOT do this?

    And then the cycle starts all over again.

    There’s a great line in the book “Fight Club” (a part which did not, sadly, end up in the movie).

    The narrator meets Tyler for the first time on a beach. Tyler is walking up and down the beach, finding huge logs and placing them upright in the sand. What he creates is a giant hand.

    Then, he sits in the shadow right as the sun hits it’s zenith.

    And for one minute he is sitting in the middle of the shadow of a giant hand that he created himself.

    The narrator asks him why he would go to so much trouble when the pay off is so momentary. Tyler looks at him and says:

    “A moment is all you can expect from perfection.”

    #1002948
    Burgo
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    “A moment is all you can expect from perfection.”

    WOW

    I must be still waiting.
    Does being a perfectionist bring success?

    #1002949
    Jexley
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    I think that “Fight Club” quote is quite brilliant. I’ve probably already said it on this thread though am too lazy to go back and look, but that kind of quote says it quite well.

    If I can paraphrase it a bit, “Success can really only be measured in those moments that bring you the most fulfilment from your efforts.”

    If that client’s kind words are what does that, BING, you’re a success. If it’s the fact that you can drop what you’re doing at any time and pretend to be a G.I.Joe paratrooper with your 8-year old… BING again.

    It’s the moments that define it, I believe, and by that line of thinking, success is everywhere really.

    #1002950
    LeelaCosgrove
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    Burgo, post: 4381 wrote:
    “A moment is all you can expect from perfection.”

    WOW

    I must be still waiting.
    Does being a perfectionist bring success?

    Good lord NO!

    As Jay Abraham says “Perfection is the Poison of Profitability”.

    But my point was simply this … happiness is perfection … contentment is perfection … and you can only ever expect a moment from them. You’ll never live totally inside those places – it’s just not possible. Life is a series of ups and downs, no matter who you are, how ‘successful’ you are or how much money you have.

    So when people say that their definition of success is happiness … that to me is setting yourself up for failure. Because it means that 90% of the time you’re not going to be successful.

    And I’ve seen it … women, particularly, beating themselves up for not being ‘happier’ or more ‘content’ … which to my mind is somewhat ridiculous … beating yourself up is certainly not going to make you more happy … but either way, as I think I said earlier, your definition of success has to be one that helps you rather than hinders you.

    I see success as achievement of a worthy goal. Whether that’s financial achievement, relationship achievement, personal achievement, sporting achievement … That way, I can be successful when I’m having an argument with my partner – because I choose in the moment to stay calm and not yell. Huzzah! Success!

    But the goal has to be WORTHY … that is, it needs to hold me to a higher standard than I’ve achieved previously. It has to make me step up and take a new and more difficult action. It has to force me into a place of discomfort before I breakthrough and have that moment of successful elation …

    My moment of perfection.

    #1002951
    Renee Barber
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    I must be doing something wrong as I’m generally quite happy. :-)

    #1002952
    Burgo
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    happy yes but how do you guage success?

    #1002953
    Renee Barber
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    Laugh. I was going to say ‘see above’ as I’ve already answered the query about what I consider to be success, but I’ll give it another try …

    Career-wise: Being able to do what I love, where I love and when I love is my gauge of success.

    Life-wise: As long as we’re happy and healthy and have enough dough to avoid being stressed during the economic crunch, be able to travel and surround ourselves with the people and items we love, I count that as being successful.

    Everyone has their own definition; this is mine.

    #1002954
    Burgo
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    who follows his dreams and pursues excellence in each task;
    and who brings out the best in others, and gives only the best of himself.’

    Success is probably the hardest word to define as we all have different ideas what it means to us.
    The Macquarie dictionary : the favourable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavours: the gaining of wealth, position, or the like.

    It appears to be something we strive for, yet we already have it.

    To me success is being a soloist.
    Able to enjoy the fruits of my labour without someone else orchestrating the way I perform.

    To always strive to give the best I can.
    To be involved with others
    To be able to enjoy good food , good wine and good company regularly
    To be able to enjoy the life God has given me warts and all, and
    To enjoy the company of other soloists.

    As a Soloist you have gained a position , and the respect of others.
    You have also gained wealth, hopefully of the monetary kind, but not necessary, so how do we guage it?

    #1002955
    LeelaCosgrove
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    Perhaps we need to invent a success gauge …

    Given that I think we agree that success is subjective, it will need to be framed as a ‘How do you feel about .. ‘

    Like …

    (on scales of 1, being I am unsuccessful to 10, being I am as successful as I think is humanly possible … )

    Business
    How do you feel about the number of clients you have in your business?
    How do you feel about the amount of money you are making in your business?
    How do you feel about your business relationships?
    How do you feel about your relationships with your clients?
    How do you feel about your relationships with your suppliers?
    How do you feel about your relationship with your mentor?

    Life
    How do you feel about your relationship with your partner?
    How do you feel about your relationship with your children?
    How do you feel about your relationship with your parents?

    Etc and so forth.

    Then we have to figure out a way of aggregating the scores … I don’t think they should be comparative (although they inevitably will be … I got a 20! Well, I got a 50!) …

    This isn’t necessarily about happiness. You can be very satisfied and consider yourself extremely successful with the number of clients you have, for instance, but not be happy.

    This is about success only … of course, the upside is that as you were doing it, you would need to evaluate what success actually MEANS to you … when asking whether you are successful in your relationship with your kids, you really have to think,

    “What does that MEAN to me? Is success with my kids the amount of time I spend with them or the fact that I can afford to send them to the best schools and give them the opportunities I never had? Is it being at every sporting game or making sure there is a roof over their heads?”

    No answer is right or wrong and the gauge shows you were you think you are … not necessarily where you actually are or where you are compared to other people. Of course, where you are depends on your time of life too …

    #1002956
    LeelaCosgrove
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    Success Gauge Part 2 …

    It also just occurred to me that to put stuff in perspective, there probably needs to be a question about your outcome …

    I.e. – if you had two people at the exact same place with their finances and businesses, but one person wanted to be a millionaire and the other person just wanted a business that would make some extra money to pay for holidays and the luxuries of life for their family, the would-be millionaire would probably have a LOWER score than the family person … because where they ARE compared to where they WANT to be is further away …

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