What does success mean to you?
In all of my years teaching my Success Principles to others, no two people have answered that question with the same answer.
Answers will vary based on values, goals, age, and life experiences. Success is a deeply personal, intimate idea and each of us will answer it in different ways.
Let me ask you another question. What does happiness mean to you?
Again, it’s deeply personal and can be framed from many different perspectives — personal, professional, spiritual, and relationships to name a few.
My sincere hope is that you position yourself so that you can live a life that includes success, happiness, and fulfillment. They are not mutually exclusive.
In fact, when you take the time to consider what truly makes you happy, it can lead to a new definition of personal success.
By following principles of success and happiness, you can lead a rich and enriching life.
Each of us is born with a unique purpose for our life. It’s up to us to understand what that means.
This process of self-discovery is a remarkably powerful opportunity to understand ourselves and what gives us meaning and clarity.
Unfortunately, our society places arbitrary definitions of success that cause us to behave in certain ways. We seek titles, promotions, recognition, fancy cars, large homes, and substantial bank accounts.
These things may give us the spotlight (although usually quite briefly) and provide us with some luxuries…
But they all too often are not the things that bring us true joy and satisfaction.
Success is, for many of us, about far more than cars and money.
Success is about following your inner GPS and finding your purpose. Granted, that’s easier said than done!
Your inner GPS is similar to the GPS system you use in your car or on your phone. It tells you how to get from point A to point B.
When you get in your car and are heading to a specific destination, what is the first thing you input into your GPS? First, it finds your current location.
Once it’s determined where you are, it gives you directions to where you are heading.
For the system to work, it simply needs to know your beginning location and your end destination.
The navigation system figures out the rest by the use of an onboard computer that receives signals from multiple satellites and calculates your exact position.
Then it plots a perfect course for you. All you have to do from that point on is follow the instructions it gives you to reach your destination.
Success in life works the same way.
All you have to do is decide where you want to go by clarifying your vision, then lock in your destination through goal setting, affirmations, and visualization, and then start taking the actions that will move you in the right direction.
Navigating this path is not always obvious. I suggest you take these steps to help define your true purpose and your meaning of success:
1. Do What You Love
First, explore what you love and what comes easy. Ask yourself what you truly love to do and what comes naturally to you.
While you still may need to practice and hone those skills, they could become the foundation of your success.
It’s part of what we call the Law of Attraction, the power that comes with doing what comes effortlessly.
2. Determine What Qualities You Enjoy Expressing The Most
What are the two qualities you most enjoy expressing?
What are the two ways you enjoy expressing those qualities to others?
These answers help to frame how you might do the work that will bring you fulfillment.
Many find that reflective techniques like meditation help to bring out these answers.
help to bring out these answers.
3. Make a Life Purpose Statement
Next, make a life purpose statement.
Take a few minutes to describe what the world be like if it operated perfectly from your perspective.
Now take the answers to all three of these sets of questions and you have a clear, concise life purpose statement.
Finally, listen to your heart. Inner guidance is essential. You need to know the path to take, where you’re starting from and where you want to go.
Your inner GPS, informed by your clear life purpose statement, will do the rest.
Let me tell you about my friend. Zander Fryer was earning more than $200,000 annually at Cisco Systems, working with clients like Disney, Facebook, Disney, and NBC.
He was 27 and had received numerous promotions and salary increases. But something was lacking.
After reading The Success Principles, he spoke with his mentor, who asked him, “What would you do if you couldn’t fail?”
Fryer knew he had an incredible corporate path ahead, but he was hesitant.
The mentor told him that the difference between the two was, “You’re dreaming a dream and I’m living mine.”
A week later, in July 2016, he left his job for what he said was “a hope and a dream.” He had no idea where he was going or the path he was taking.
He spent six months living the Success Principles and that led him to become a certified success coach and corporate speaker.
Today, he realizes that he was chasing success, titles, and promotions in the corporate world but felt empty and unfulfilled.
What he realized was when he stopped chasing the things and started to chase the feeling of success — this deeper, centered feeling of success — he really started to get that fulfillment and true satisfaction in what he was doing.
Fryer is an ordinary person who was living what many would consider a “successful” life.
Now he is living a life of success, happiness, and fulfillment. He made an extraordinary choice and feels deep gratitude to those who helped him navigate his way to this new self.
You don’t need to know how you will do what comes next, but you must believe that you can.
When you find what brings you true joy, it will lead you to greater, deeper, and fulfilling success.
I’d like to hear your thoughts. Are you chasing success but don’t feel as happy as you could be? How could you change that?
As the beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, Jack Canfield fostered the emergence of inspirational anthologies as a genre—and watched it grow to a billion dollar market. As the driving force behind the development and delivery of over 100 million books sold through the Chicken Soup for the Soul® franchise, Jack Canfield is uniquely qualified to talk about success. Jack is America’s #1 Success Coach and wrote the life-changing book The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be and Jack speaks around the world on this subject. Check out his newest book The 30-Day Sobriety Solution: How to Cut Back or Quit Drinking in the Privacy of Your Own Home. Follow Jack at www.jackcanfield.com and sign up for his free resources today!
Image courtesy of Park Street.