Part Two: What is Success?

Reading Thrive sent my brain in a new direction.  Success has to be something other than earning money, a grander title, a nicer office and dining on a lot of stress sandwiches.  Thrive describes success as having a balanced life. One point that really resonated with me – success is achieved by building memories in every life you touch. Leave a lasting impression, make a difference in someone’s life, or maybe help someone else find their way.  I have always been on board with this in my personal life and now to translate “humane” elements into career is compelling to me. Do I do that in my job today?  Unlikely.  Do I know people with the opportunity in their jobs today?  I certainly do.  I have a friend who is an oncology nurse.  I know there are families who will always remember her kindness and bedside manner while helping patients and the families.  I have another friend who is a health coach and has begun to do speaking engagements to promote a healthy lifestyle.  Without a doubt there will be people along the way who will benefit and remember the person who served as their guide to a healthier way of living.  I saw a Facebook “friend” was recently named teacher of the year at her school.  I truly believe her students will look back and remember the support and encouragement she provided wherever they end up.  There are careers paths that enable selfless giving with a two way reward.  Some will say “well how do you make any money doing those things”.  There are many ways of earning a living; though it likely requires a big mindset shift about career and rewards associated with success.  The rewards may include your salary and intangibles such as humane treatment of…humans.  To paraphrase Thrive,  no one will be raving about the ability to perfect a power point presentation and praising ability to work 20 hour days at funeral. One’s positive impact on others serves a greater purpose and will surely be remembered more so than any administrative skills. People who understand their purpose and find their passion have a different point of view than those of us who are drones in corporate life (no offense to anyone who loves cubicle life and conference calls).

What if success means taking an alternative path versus a cookie cutter corporate career?  Many people have amazing talents and gifts that are likely untapped while sitting in a cubicle or office, working in front of a computer all day.  How many people actually use their strengths vs forced to develop a weakness. How can natural ability and skills be preserved in an unnatural environment?  My strength is hardly crunching numbers in any capacity, however, I am required to do it at every week. I find it excessively time consuming and tedious. I have told my boss I am not a revenue analyst and that newsflash  falls on deaf ears so I plug away at my spreadsheets anyway. Do people in management positions really know how to identify and cultivate talent?  Do we as individuals know how to develop our own talents?  We apply and interview for jobs and get hired according to job specifications, based on self promotion whether or not it is a perfect fit.  There are people who are well suited for corporate life. There are people who can fit into corporate life and would thrive elsewhere. There are people who will never thrive in a corporate environment whether they have tried it or not.  I will say, working for a large corporation can be a good place to develop knowledge and skills for use somewhere else along the line.  I find it fascinating to hear stories about people who leave their suits and laptops behind to take an alternate path.  I think most say what they were doing helped them understand how to get to where they really wanted to be.

I wonder how many people realize there are more options than a corporate ladder and are unsure of how to make it happen.  How do you climb your own ladder?  How do you bypass the ladder and take the stairs to achieve your desired success?  How do you ensure what you get in return for your effort is acceptable and rewarding?  From my point of view, it is daunting to leave the security of a corporate job and move into something that may  involve an unfamiliar level of uncertainty.  I would imagine there are many people out there who place limitations upon their own success because it is challenging to step outside the comfort zone.  Conversely, there are people who are forced outside the comfort zone and end up on their own path based on fate or circumstance.  Maybe it just time for those who need to, to take time to decide what success means and find the inspiration to take a leap of faith and do something new or different.  Just a thought.

 

Comments

  1. So my definition of success right now is waking up without an alarm clock, spending time with my cat and drinking coffee in the morning before I have to run off anywhere. I know it seems simple but I remember those days I had plenty of kittens/cats in my apartments or house sand could not even stop for two minutes to hang out with them. I always had to be somewhere, do something and live someone’s life. Now we get to play, drink coffee and take in the morning sun. Seriously, since leaving my marketing job, I’ve had so many blessings. And although they did not come monetarily at first, they are great healthy habits that will prolong my life and well-being. Isn’t that the name of the game anyway? We wetware near old age, possibly dying and looking back, every soul will wish they did things differently. As a young generation, we get to stop the clock, take stock in our lives and move forward in whatever direction we choose. Xo. Much Love Alexis!

    • The Page of Aquarius says:

      So true! You’re right – we all have to re-evaluate because we get so caught up in the stress “norm”. Thank you, Nicole 🙂

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