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How do you measure success
Posted by: HoboSylvain | 2013-11-13 20:40:05 | Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico
Keywords: Reflection, Success
It's a question I've asked myself times and times again in various forms throughout my life. On more than one occasion, I felt I had failed simply because I didn't embrace the same ideals as most other people. I had failed to become part of the society, since I didn't feel I wanted what the society was expecting of me. Then with time I realized what was a failure wasn't me, but the standard I was comparing my achievements to. With time, I realized the best way to fail is to let others define your goals.

If you play a game in which all the rules are already decided and you don't know these rules or don't agree with them, of course you'll fail... it's just a matter of time. Same thing goes with your life. If you let the others (family, friends, culture, society, etc) decide for you what you should do to be successful, you will fail.

Your goals in life have to be decided by YOU! Only you know what you want, what you're capable of and what makes you happy. But once you have found that goal of yours, don't carve it in stone... because with time you will change and so should your goal to reflect that change in your personality, skills or perspective on life. Keep it in mind though.

Once you have your goal in mind, research what could be the steps to do to reach that goal. But not only set a series of milestones, which are well defined and measurable, set them with a date of completion! If you simply say “I want to get better”... say “I want to be more zen and have a better outlook on life... will work on it for the next 3 months”, say “I want to get enough money to realize this dream by my birthday”. Print the goal and the milestones and place the sheet on the exit door of your house or apartment... because that way you'll always have a reminder of what is important in your life.

If you don't feel comfortable with the rules in place that define your success, change the rules! You're the one in charge of your life... not an exterior force setting the rules to make you fail. Just be careful though not to see your goals or objectives too low... because then you'll not be cheating the system, but you'll be cheating yourself about your capabilities. It's better the set the bar high and lower it a bit after a few attempts, readjusting the goal upon a new evaluation, than setting the bar too low and have no feeling of accomplishment which comes with effort.

Goals will be different for everyone, and even for yourself at different stages of your life. I'll take a very simple example. If you're healthy and have no handicap, getting out of the bed in the morning to do something is not achievement... it's something to be expected. If however, you're sick or have a serious handicap, that could prove a real challenge. So, for the sick person, getting out of bed might give a real and powerful sense of accomplishment even if it's only for a few minutes, every few days.

As politicians and medias know, there's always a silver lining and always a present things on a brighter side. If you're in a situation where you feel you're not winning and that situation is out of your control find an angle that will make you a winner. For example, if you're fired from your job... that could give you the kick to you needed to explore other possibilities. Find that winning angle without trying to cheat yourself.

Success isn't winning every day. It's not even winning most of the time. It's winning the battles in life that count. Take for example a baseball player... when he succeeds at hitting the ball 4 times out of 10 when he goes to the plate he's a hero!, even if failed the majority of the times.

Winning is advancing towards your end goal even if you have to zigzag along the way to not get hit but the curve balls life throws at you. Winning is accepting to lose battles towards a greater good. Winning is picking the battles where your energy is required and let go the rest. Winning is using positive energy to push you forward, not negative energy that drags you out of your objectives.

Was/Am I successful? I can look back on my life and see a few things I did that make me really proud, even if they are way outside the society's expectations. I've learned that one of the keys of happiness and success is to count and keep close track of your achievements... not of your failures (you have to acknowledge them, but not glorify them with a count).

Related posts:
The Asynchronous Man
Keep your expectactions low


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