How do you quantify success? What is it you actually measure?
Should it be statistics, figures, numbers? Or how about the effort put in to achieving it?
Maybe it could be a combination of these, rather like those school reports where you get a grade for achievement and a score for effort.
Or should we more concerned with experiences rather than numbers?
Statistics are certainly the easiest and most obvious way to measure success. With money wealth, income being one of most popular ways for people to measure their own or others’ success.
But it’s all relative. What constitutes a measure of success in monetary terms fluctuates according to age, the circles you move in, geographical location and your time in history.
Money can be measure in it’s own right or as an indication or measure of success. It’s not necessarily the money per se that’s important to measure, but it’s rather the way some people choose to quantify their success. The success is what drives them, not the money, but income is a useful indicator and measure of
That’s all very well and yes numbers and effort are a good way to measure anything, but let’s not ignore the role of feelings and the experience itself. Otherwise we run the danger of seeing success as one-dimensional and we’re not one-dimensional beings, so if we do this we fail to capture the true meanings of success.
During my reflection time recently (a part of my Changeability mind-work where I write whatever comes to mind during meditation or visualisation) I came to a realisation as I was musing on this very subject.
I realised that for much of my life I’ve equated success with validation. Validation for what I’m not sure, but it’s something to do with feeling valued and wanting to be seen to be good enough or for people to think I’m good at doing what I’m doing.
This was quite a revelation! I was interested in what it meant. Did I see my self-worth wrapped up in other people’s idea of my worthiness? I don’t think of myself as someone who worries too much about what others think of me, or let it stop me doing things. But maybe it’s not so much about what others think, but more that I want to be seen as good enough so I think I’m good enough myself.
There’s a lot more to be said about this and how it shows up in what I do and don’t do. You can hear all of this in much more detail in episode 91 of The Changeability Podcast.
If you haven’t got time to listen to the episode now (and it’s quite a short episode for us) here’s a flavour of what I wrote in my Changeability Daily Journal: I am going to have a new measure of success from now
My new measure of success is around enjoying every day. So essentially I will measure my daily success in terms of whether I enjoyed the day and found it fulfilling in some way.
Now of course what constitutes an enjoyable day or a fulfilling day will change from day to day depending on what I’m doing – but in many ways that is the point.
There is no real single measure of success, but many different measures depending on what we’re trying to achieve at any time. Therefore, I’m using this as an overarching catchall that can encompass any other measure within it.
After all, what I (and I think most people) want to achieve in life and business is to be happy and fulfilled and enjoy this amazing experience of being alive.
What makes each of us happy and fulfilled will be different and that doesn’t matter, because my new measure of success allows me to capture this for me.
Listen to the podcast to hear me read the full extract from my Changeability Planner and Journal.
“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.” Bob Dylan
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