“What is success?” the man leading the seminar asked brightly, wanting some audience participation. I put up my hand, and along with several other participants, gave my answer. “The inevitable result of being human.” I knew it wouldn’t be regarded as a normal answer, but I want success now, a lot – and I want to use today’s successes as a springboard to more rewarding ones – and not just my own successes. My definition guarantees me success every day, and makes me aware of how natural success is for us all.
Success is inevitable.
You cannot help but achieve your deepest goals. Without knowing it, you succeed. Look close enough and you’ll find you’re a success. Every day. Pretty much all the time!
Here are some of my successes (though not in chronological order!) Waking up. Talking to my family. Cuddling my children and grandchildren. Breathing. Doing my emails. Writing this blog. Cooking breakfast. Laughing at a TV programme. Doing some reading. Having a bath. Walking. In fact I’ve succeeded so many times today it is so normal to succeed that I’m completely unaware of how much of a success I am.
However, your deepest goals may not be so obvious. You might be missing them. Even embarrassed by them.
Less obvious success…
Here are some successes that people have that they may not want to own up to:
- Backing off. Being successful at making sure they don’t need courage.
- Avoiding potential pain by staying within safe, risk-free limits.
- Never experiencing rejection (by not putting themselves in a relationship where that could happen, or by making sure they themselves do the rejecting first.)
- Staying an emotional child. (There are plenty of people out there looking to mother the emotionally needy.)
Perhaps you’ve successfully taken whatever decisions you need to make absolutely sure you never stand out in the crowd. Solution: keep your head down and your mouth shut.
It is easy to make sure you never fail an exam. Simply never take one. Success!
You need never fear mockery. Never ever come up with anything original.
You need never fear being made redundant or getting the sack. Simple: resign at the earliest opportunity, or don’t take the job in the first place!
But of course, such dubious success is linked to other dubious successes – successfully avoiding responsibility for your life and future for example. And that means other people will begin to take over what you could contribute, and you will become poorer, more isolated, more vulnerable and more depleted. Some successes can produce unwelcome results.
What do you WANT to want?
Time to dig deeper. (As you know, I don’t do shallow.)
Do you REALLY want what you’re getting out of life at the moment? What do you WANT to want? What WELCOME outcomes?
What are you prepared to go for, to sacrifice for (everything in life has a price), in order to get an outcome you’ll be PROUD OF?
What is the next step for you?
From the day I stepped out from behind my mummy’s skirts to do something on my own, fear and courage have fought for supremacy. As I stepped out, eventually courage won.
My job is to make sure all these years later that courage continues to win, not just for me, but for you too.
YOU are the reason I choose to coach. Here are some others.