Redefining SuccessMar 28, 2022
Are you setting the goalpost for success too far into the future?
I had the privilege of sitting down with The Exercise Mechanic himself, Etienne Asselin, for a podcast episode about living a successful life. You can listen to the episode now by clicking here.
Why Redefine Success?
We discussed the importance of defining or really redefining success. This is so important because most of us want to enjoy life now and in the future. Yet, we take on arbitrary definitions of success to please people we don't know or like, set the goalposts for success far off into the distant future, and sacrifice the present for the chance of achieving it.
I'm not saying that dreaming big and setting future goals isn't essential–you're talking to the girl with a 10-year vision board hanging above her desk. I am saying that we should also define success today and not do the typical thing where we take our needs and label them as desires. "success for me today is getting a good night's sleep and spending some quality time with my kids before bed." I'm sorry, but those are NEEDS. Call them what they are.
What is Success?
Most people see success in two ways, 1) massive wealth, cash, fame, accolades and accomplishments, and 2) something I could feel good about when I go to sleep.
Neither of those definitions is helping you live your best life. The first has you compare yourself to others to achieve things that society deems important but may ultimately leave you dissatisfied. The second inspires an elevated sense of self-esteem and personal acceptance without motivating action, change, or movement toward what you truly desire.
The reason we adopt these definitions is our History.
With the first definition, we'll call it "Rich and Famous" is because, throughout history, those in positions of power, wealth and fame had more influence on society. The second definition, we'll call "the good person," is because, throughout history, the Catholic Church and many religions labelled desires like wealth, fame and abundance (think Rich and Famous) as greed and unGodly.
The only socially acceptable desire was the desire to be welcomed into The Kingdom of Heaven. With that definition, we become followers who are easy to influence and do as they are told. Lamb of God, do as the shepherd wants or be ostracized from the flock and left to the devil. To be worthy is to be a follower who wants nothing more than to be accepted.
The protestant movement proposed that hard work paved the pathway to salvation with hard work. Your work ethic became your worthiness, and society began to value hard work over almost everything.
Worthiness & Success
Over time, the influence of the church and religion has somewhat faded. We slowly took our worthiness out of the hands of God. But, instead of accepting that we have been worthy of our desires all along, we placed our worthiness into the hands of others.
Here's the thing. Your desires aren't evil, and they don't make you greedy. You are worthy of whatever definition of success you choose, and no hard work is needed. You are worthy because you are.
So, How Do You Define Success?
I believe that we should define success as our highest vision for a positive outcome in our lives today and in the future. I think the quest to live a successful life in the present and future is worthy. The question I like to ask to begin this process is, "how do you most want to live your life now?" I challenge you to focus less on who you want to become and who you want to be today. Then, ask yourself what steps or actions can you take today and every day to do that?
To listen to the full podcast episode where Etienne and I dive deep into the topic of success, click here.
- Hey Mickey Anderson