How I Broke Through the Clutter Called Success
We’re living in a day and age when there are practically no barriers to people and information. As a result some of us are oversubscribed. Emails are coming into our mailboxes from people we do not really know. We watch YouTube and webinars and listen to podcasts and audiobooks. Many of us still have TV’s in our homes, and on it we see overnight dancing success, overnight singing success, overnight business success, and so on.
For many of us, our subconscious minds are concluding that these messages and images are what success is all about.
Personally, a while back I found myself having to sit back and take inventory of it all in an effort to try to figure out what it all actually meant. I was beginning to feel the strain and anxiety of wanting more but not really knowing why and not moving closer to that elusive definition of success.
Can you relate?
Here is what I did, and I hope it helps you.
1) Conduct an Input Cleanup. I cleaned up the list of people and media I was paying attention to. I did this by breaking down the areas of my life (family, health, happiness, wealth, and profession) and choosing two thought leaders from each category. I refuse to add any more. Every three to four months I evaluate the messages I am listening to and replace them based on whether I’m learning and applying from them.
2) Be Grateful. I took inventory of what I am grateful for. I already have a phenomenal life. I’m married to my soulmate, and we have been together since we were both in our early teens. We have two beautiful children who have acquired, through education and home life, the strongest possible ethics and values. I have the best friends, and we share many fun times. I vacation multiple times each year. I live in the great province of Newfoundland and Labrador, where the proverbial six degrees of separation is only two. I have chosen to work for one of the largest firms in the world, and I feel valued.
3) Define Success. I realized that I wasn’t chasing my definition of success. I was chasing a definition of success that was based on the inputs I was consuming. I was hypnotized by the people and media I was watching, reading, and listening to. I had to define success for myself. I defined the life I already had and what I wanted to improve upon by living all-out.
Many years ago I read the best definition of success:
Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. —Earl Nightingale
If we break down this definition into its components, it is beautiful and serves us well. First, it helps us realize that if we define what success means to us and move progressively toward it we already are successful. Second, success is not about the destination. It is about the journey. We choose, every day, to wake up successful … or not.
4) Stop focusing on only results. I decided to stop looking so closely at results—the weight on the scale, the number of people following my message, the amount of wealth I have built up, and so forth. Focusing on only current results will bring more of those current results. Instead, I decided to start piling on the service and value, focus on the new vision (or ideal), and apply action toward its fulfillment.
When I finally engaged in these four steps, I began to feel momentum. Like everyone else, from time to time I still find myself comparing my own plot of land to someone else’s. But I try to nip it right away and refocus on the above. Personally, I find rituals and routines help.
Bringing It All Together
I’ll cover my rituals and routines in my next article, but for now I am curious.… Have you found the definition of success just a little more cluttered these days? What have you done to get around it? Please share your thoughts on my Facebook Page or on Twitter.
Thanks to my virtual friend Chris Brogan who inspired me to write this post. Chris and Dorie Clark are two people I listen to in the area of platform building right now.
On June 1st the "It's Time to Sell" Podcast is launching. It's goal will be to help entrepreneurs who believe in their product or service break through the fear of selling. Listeners will hear insights from Book Authors, Coaches, SaaS entrepreneurs, CEO's, leading Sales Professionals and Consultants on what they did to break through the fear.