Motivation (which we focused on last month) is an external process and helps you to define your motive or WHY you want a particular result. This month we shift to inspiration which tends to be internal and helps you to align your WHY with your core values, beliefs and life purpose.
Last month as I taught a workshop “Make this your best year”, I began by asking the participants to determine what success is going to look like for them this year. In order to know whether you have had a successful year, you need to have a gauge for determining your success. This requires beginning with the “end in mind” and then working towards achieving your results.
If you asked several people what being successful means am sure you would get different responses. To some people it means financial freedom while others view it as having the ability to generate products that move the needle and impact people’s lives. Others may tell you it is having people to love and care for and them loving you back. Whatever definition you go by, it is very important that we each have our definition of success and below I share three reasons why.
1. Helps you to determine which direction you should take
Imagine going through life without knowing what matters the most to you!! Everyday you are bombarded with things that call for your attention. Perhaps it is someone driving the latest car or it is another asserting how they earned a six figure income last year, or one showing off photos of their latest vacation and so on.When you do not have your clear definition of what success looks like, you tend to feel unsuccessful every time other people talk about their success. On the other hand if you have your definition of success, when you encounter these scenarios, you are able to “rejoice with those who rejoice” and also remain confident that you are also successful because you have achieved what matters the most to you.
2. Helps you to live a life of gratitude
Sometimes we fail to give thanks because we do not see the multitude of things before us to be grateful for. While researching for this post, I came across a person who defined success as “having tea and coffee with her family out on the deck followed by a walk through the woods”. She went on to observe that “success is more of a path than a destination, it is less about doing and having and much more about the being”. When you have defined your success, each day you live with gratitude because you recognize the small steps you are taking towards your big goal. In my view, success and contentment often go together. Show me a person who is content and you will find someone who also feels successful.
3. Helps you remember that your definition can change
In order to feel successful, you have to determine what is important to you at any given time then focus on it and get ride of the guilt that often consumes us because you have not achieved your ideal situation.
Perhaps your definition of success includes having dinner with your family every evening and you also have a goal of working your way out of debt which means you have to work extra hours. You could begin by giving yourself grace and setting a target of maybe 2 – 3 times a week. When you find yourself achieving this goal, you will feel successful in this area and as you move towards eliminating that debt then you can increase to maybe 4-6 times a week. Doing this enables you to win and when you encounter someone saying they enjoy dinner with their family every night it will not make you feel unsuccessful because you are on the road to achieving this goal too.
Whatever your goals are for this year, I implore you to begin by taking time to reflect and answer the question what does success look like for me? write down your answers and then begin to take action to fulfill your definition of success.