“A crown, if it hurts us, is not worth wearing.”
—Pearl Bailey, 20th century American actress, singer and author
Image from Unsplash by Nathan Mcgregor
What are the ways that you and others measure success?
How do you keep score to know if you are winning?
How near or far are you from being king or queen of the hill?
Status is one way people measure themselves and others. Think about the business world, entertainment, sports, politics, the military, social media, and other areas of life in which people compare and contrast where they stand.
Where have you noticed or personally experiences the pain of personal and professional status?
Where does wearing the crown of status present a cost far too high to pay?
“The moment of victory is much too short to live for that and nothing else.”
—Martina Navratilova, Czech-American professional tennis legend
Image from Unsplash by Keith Luke
Take at least five minutes today to reflect on all you have accomplished so far in your life. Examine your victories and significant successes closely to see what came before the wins and what happened afterward.
To what degree did you learn, grow, and enjoy the journeys that took you to these summits? How sustainable was the afterglow and how much momentum remained weeks, months, and perhaps years later?
Who are the people and what are the things that make your life most rewarding and meaningful?
What shifts in perspective would help you see far more of these moments as a series of continuous victories available each and every day?
“If you have achieved any level of success then pour it into someone else. Success is not success without a successor.”
—T.D. Jakes, American author and filmmaker
Image from Unsplash by Reuben Juarez
Who are the people in your personal and professional life that helped you get where you are today?
When I was in my mid 30s, I participated in a year-long seminar called the Wisdom Course. Among the various assignments given was the goal to create a visual and written autobiography of my life.
Beyond going through tons of family photos and a yearbook or two, we were challenged to reach out to many of these individuals to acknowledge their significant influences and acts of generosity.
How have you paid forward life lessons with family, friends, and colleagues?
With whom can and will you generously offer your coaching and support to help them be all they can be?
Don’t be surprised when your own success and satisfaction get a boost of momentum from the law of “Givers Gain.”
“Never let success get to your head. Never let failure get to your heart.”
—Ziad K. Abdelnour, Lebanese-American Activist
Image from Unsplash by Langa Hlatshwayo
Using our head and our heart to make wise decisions and navigate life is good counsel. How often do you use this dynamic duo to evaluate the options and opportunities that present themselves at home and at work?
If you are fortunate to have achieved significant levels of personal and professional success, where may you have experienced a heightened sense of importance and a bit of a swelled head?
Alternatively, where have you experienced setbacks, stumbles, or thwarted intentions? Where have these difficulties penetrated to your heart, leaving you with doubts and disappointments?
Please take a listen to the Tim McGraw song, “Humble and Kind.” Let me know what you think or how it makes you feel by replying to this post.
“Set a daily quota of fun. Positive activities act as a happiness supplement.”
Image from Unsplash by Mindspace Studio
Where do you use metrics, milestones, scoreboards and quotas to measure your achievements and level of success?
Examine both your professional and personal life. What activities produce these results, and how many of them do you consider fun and a source of happiness?
What are some of the fun activities that come to mind that seem to be reserved for weekends, vacations, or other special occasions? Examining how you feel on Friday and Sunday evenings can be one way to see if your work has the positive elements of fun you look forward to.
What activities can and will you add to your days or begin doing to score more fun in your life?
What activities can you do less of or stop entirely to make room for these happiness supplements?
“Ignore the cup and just enjoy the coffee.”
Image from Unsplash by Jordan @suspct
Product packaging is big business. In so many product categories, it can make the difference between super success and a big fat flop.
Long gone are the days when packaging was meant to only protect and preserve what was inside. Now, the container must scream BUY ME! I’M SPECIAL! I WILL MAKE YOUR LIFE BETTER!
How often does selling the sizzle actually meet your expectations, or better yet, exceed them?
Where, too often, is the added price of the cup not really worth the premium price to get the coffee?
If you enjoy a good cup of coffee check Google for the brands that have the highest rating with the lowest per ounce price.
Where and with whom in your worlds would looking closer at what’s on the inside make the biggest difference?
“You cannot teach a crab to walk straight.”
—Aristophanes, classic Athenian poet and playwright
Image from Unsplash by Chandler Cruttenden
Picture a crab scurrying across a beach, searching for food or a mate, or avoiding a predator.
With claws and legs of different sizes and functions, getting to their destination in a straight line is not the point for this creature—being a successful crustacean living from one day to the next is.
Perhaps our changing world has altered our own way of getting around. Many direct routes to our objectives are not open or have significant detours, causing us to adapt and adjust our course.
What can we learn from the crab? Perhaps if we took more lefts, rights, and zig-zags, would we not only survive, but thrive as we headed into the future?
Where in your personal or professional world is taking the straight path not working?
Where might a less direct path lead you to where you wish to be?
“Although he may not always recognize his bondage, modern man lives under a tyranny of numbers.”
—Nicholas Eberstadt, American political economist
Image from Unsplash by Stephen Dawson
What time is it? What did you weigh when you stood on the bathroom scale this morning?
How fast or slow is traffic moving on your commute to work? How much money do you earn and how much have you saved?
What are some other ways you measure your life and whether you are successful?
To what degree do you feel the bondage and tyranny of our world of metrics, milestones, and the quantification of everything?
Where in your life do you experience the freedom and simple pleasures of the subjective, qualitative, and more soulful aspects of life?
Consider discussing these questions with friends and family. What are the most appropriate and useful ways for you to measure your life?
“Opportunities are seldom labeled.”
—John A. Shedd, 19th Century American author and professor
For most of my life, I have been fascinated by the subject of personal and professional success.
I’ve read hundreds of books, attended dozens of seminars and conferences, and can hardly count the number of blog posts, podcasts, and TED talks I’ve explored.
In his book, Barking Up the Wrong Tree, Eric Barker digs into the science of success, to mess a bit with the conventional and unconventional wisdom on this subject.
One seemingly universal tenet of success does, however, point to the idea of taking massive action and trying many things along the way to stir up far more possibilities and opportunities to pursue.
To what degree are you waiting or being too passive, hoping for an opportunity to reveal itself?
Where would taking far more action and trying many more things help you bark up and climb the right trees for you?
“Wisdom is often times nearer when we stoop than when we soar.”
Image from Unsplash by Mark Pan4ratte
Achieving new levels of professional and career success is almost always a primary reason people seek coaching. They of course wish to soar, create more value for others, and better provide for themselves and their families.
In the course of pursuing these goals, most people see considerable spill over into their personal life priorities, sometimes right within arms reach.
It turns out that wisdom is far nearer than they thought. Reaching out to serve their friends, colleagues, neighbors, and other communities helps them experience greater passion and purpose in their lives.
How might you gain far greater wisdom by doing a bit more stooping rather than soaring? What actions can and will you take today?