I always thought I knew the answer to this question with no hesitation. I mean really, how hard is it to know what success looks like?? Business people, entrepreneurs, celebrities and professional athletes, all have the look of what our society deems as the essence of success. Nice car, nice house, a chef, high profile friends, and a dog named Gucci. Who doesn’t want the life of the rich, famous, and “successful”?
When I first really began to answer the question for myself, I had more common sense than to think that just having a nice car, huge house, and a dog named Gucci was what success looked like. Of course I wanted to be wealthy (still do!), have great health and have a happy and stable family. It wasn’t until the movie Bucket List came out that I added another part to my definition of success: complete my bucket list.
Begin with the End in Mind
Awhile ago I read a book called The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey (highly recommended!). There are many points to the book that I’ll share later, but one of the habits Covey says is to begin with the end in mind. When I first read the book I really didn’t understand Covey’s point. Even after he described it in greater detail, it still didn’t resonate with me…
I began rereading the book about 2 weeks ago and this point actually stuck out for me where I finally understand what he is saying. He encourages his readers to think about what they want people to say about them as a person when they are no longer here on earth. The words and thoughts you want to leave behind is actually your real definition of success. From this point, everything you do and say from now on should be a reflection of what you want to be said about you in the end. Begin with the end in mind.
I don’t know about you, but I love having “oh, noowwww I get it” moments where the light bulb comes on in my mind. Begin with the end in mind tells me to live life with purpose. Being financially independent is still on my list. Doing an honest day’s work and having something to show for it is certainly something I would consider a success. Great health also stays on the list as well as happiness. Then I began to think…
What does it mean to be happy???
Forgive me if I’m getting way too deep here! These are some real questions that I had to answer for myself in order to honestly understand the true definition of my personal success. I know when I “feel” happy, but I wanted to break it down a little more. After some digging I finally settled on being internally at peace. Meaning, I say what I mean and I mean what I say. Walking the walk and talking the talk. Being at peace with self completely and totally so that I can help others do the same. Being on my death bed around friends and family, smiling and saying “I did that!!” Leaving behind great memories, taking photos and recording videos to capture life. Living everyday with purpose based on my values and principles.
If I can leave those things behind, I would have been a VERY successful person!
Tell me your thoughts on what success means to you. Do you consider money and fame to be a large part of being successful or do you have other ideas on what success looks like?