Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The following post is by Michelle Hanisch. The original post can be read on her blog 'Healing. Growth. Transformation' by clicking here. During our time(s) of change, sometimes we need to refocus by not looking at what we're gaining materially but are we improving/growing towards the person we desire to be.

Do You Want Success or Achievement?

By Michelle Hanisch

I have a lot of clients come to see me despondent at their lack of ‘success’.
“I should own my own home by this age.”
“I should have a career and a nice car by now.”
Or even:
“I have the big home, nice car, prestigious career ....and I still feel like something is missing.”
Somewhere along the line these people have mixed up success with achievement.
Easy to do right?
Achievement is so easy to strive for. You can set goals for it. Goals that tell you exactly how to get there and exactly what you’ll get at the other end. Goals that once met you can comfortably say “I did it!”
Success on the other hand is much much harder.
Much harder to define. Much harder to strive for. Much harder to know when you’re there.
And that’s because:
Success is something that we feel.
Success is something that is beyond words.
Success is something that gives us meaning.
Success comes from our WHY.
What if our WHY was not to own the biggest house on the block but to be the best parent we could be? Would buying the biggest house on the block make us feel successful? No way!
What if our WHY was not to own the fastest car but to inspire and help others? Would the Ferrari parked in the garage make us feel successful? Definitely not!
We might feel like we achieved something but we wouldn’t feel successful.
Often we start on the Road to Success only to be distracted and derailed by the Path to Achievement.
We start with our WHY in mind. We don’t just want to make a 6 figure salary at our executive job – we want to steer this company to make a big difference in the world. We want to be a change agent. We want to make the world a better place for our children and for us.
Then we slowly get conditioned to following the Path to Achievement. We start to measure our ‘success’ by the tangibles – the big house, the fast car – the tangibles that represent achievement. The tangibles that most of our colleagues are also focused on. We think “If I could just achieve more then I’d feel successful.” But without our WHY as the rudder steering our ship, the ‘success’ will feel hollow.
Success comes when we wake up every day with our WHY in mind. When our day is filled with reminders of WHY we’re doing what we’re doing then our achievements are indicators that we’re on the right path. Our achievements are the bonuses that accompany our feelings of success.
So if you’re the best parent you can be but you don’t own a house – you’re still a success. You’re just looking in the wrong place for your achievements. Is your child happy, well-adjusted, loved, and healthy? There are your signs of achievement and therefore your signs of success.
If you’re inspiring and helping the people around you but there’s no Ferrari in your garage? Then you’re still a success. You’re just looking in the wrong place for your achievements. Are the people around you taking ownership of their lives, do they light up when they see you, are you surrounded by their love? These are your signs of achievement. And definitely your signs of success!
"Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men" (Colossians 3:23 New American Standard Bible)

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