Are You Successful?


Have you ever experienced one of those moments when everything around you seems to go crazy?

You worked very hard on a project putting in insane hours, stretching
yourself to the limit, getting all your proverbial ducks in a row and
cannot wait for that magic moment, the tipping point, when it all comes

And just when you expected everything to fall into place you
get complete chaos instead. That is not the moment to start doubting
yourself. It is not a good time to pull back. In fact, that is the moment when you need to renew your commitment to
the project, to let your desire to create, learn, and make a mark in
the world carry you through. 

Desire to make something happen is an invincible force. Use wisely.

Success, very much like love, is connected with a
person's ability to tell a story. We all build our lives around stories.
Those who can build an open and expansive story will have an open and
expansive life. Those who build a limited story, will live a limited

What's your definition of success? How do you know you've achieved it?

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0 responses to “Are You Successful?”

  1. Valeria,
    The very cool thing about success, I think, is that the definitions change as we do. I used to measure success by all sorts of yard sticks but most of those have been locked away in a closet and key forgotten.
    I’m aptly satisfied with having enough time to be a beneficial presence, measured only by the time that remains when all the others stuff is done. I like your idea of having an expansive story. It seems to fit nicely with being a beneficial presence.

  2. Nice post! I think success is when you don’t know whether you’re working or playing. If your life and/or your work are a good fit with your soul, then it all feels like play…and to me, that’s success. Not every day can be a party…so there will always be days filled with untimely chaos like you wrote about. Keeping a big picture perspective is important.
    I agree with Rich that the definitions change as we do…so it’s an ongoing process. I like what you said about building our lives around stories…but, as a recruiter, I often found that my candidates who were most unhappy were the ones living stories written for someone else. So figuring out, telling and living your own story is important.

  3. The more I coach small business owners, the more apparent it becomes that the definition of success is subjective. The idea of story comes up a lot-stories of how family or friends define success and stories about what we truly want. When we become afraid of our capacity to bring the story to life, we make the story smaller. The challenge is to find someone who will listen to our story and become so excited they want to know how it ends. Stories have more life when they are shared!

  4. @Rich – I like to remind myself about the expansive story especially when I’ve been immersed in the minutiae necessary to execute on a project for too long. My take is that balancing thinking with doing can be hard and that both are pillars to feeling successful.
    @Marc – indeed, when you forget to look at the clock and feel energized after a full day of work, you are in flow. The reason why I started the #kaizenblog chat on Twitter was to remind us that the process of doing the right thing is important — hence kaizen. Living someone else’s story does cause disconnects at many levels.
    @Elli – and possibly situational? Is it also the story we tell ourselves about who we are? Although I did try the one about the very tall woman with black hair… it didn’t work 🙂 Stories become more expansive when shared. Very good point!

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