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Redefining Success

I’ve been struggling lately with the definition of success. My definition of success. I wonder if it’s time I start redefining success.

We are told that the definition of success is graduating from college and establishing a great career. I graduated from college, started what I thought was going to be a career, have made several detours, earned my Masters in Organizational Leadership, and am currently working a job that has nothing to do with my degree or strengths.

I am now in a place where I think I should have a career established. Instead, I have a job.

Doesn’t everyone have it all together and figured out by the time they are 30?

I have my Masters degree.

I have had multiple jobs.

But no set career path.

Definition of Success

Success is defined as the accomplishment of an aim or purpose; achieving a goal you set. From the time I could remember, my goal was to work for a corporation in business and become an executive.

I was indoctrinated with the idea that I needed the high salary, big title, and large house. Besides, that is what is emulated in the world.  I know that I have bought into that. Being an achiever has allowed me buy into it. And my head believes this definition of success.

The other day, in an online community I am a part of, one of the participants was bummed due to the fact that a product he was wanting to launch was launched by another company/individual. He was reminded by several of us that due to who he is, he will connect with a different audience than this other company. He has his own worldview, personality, and experience that will connect to a specific audience.

If you are an entrepreneur, we are told that to be a “real” business you must have a Facebook page and twitter handle and now periscope with thousands upon thousands of likes. The reality is that is not true. One can be successful with a couple hundred likes or followers if they have connected with the right audience.

Redefining Success

What if we changed the conversation around the word success?

What if we redefined success as the legacy we leave behind?

Redefining Success

This new definition of success does not have to do with the big title. Or amazing office. Or the great perks associated with a corporate job. The items that no longer matter once you are not around.

What if the new definition of success included the impact that you made on the lives of those around you that spanned for generations? When we live out our purpose in this life, we will be successful. We need to learn that when we invest time and resources into what matters, into what is eternal, we have become successful.

My new definition of success is whether I am living out my purpose or not where I have been placed. When I live out my purpose in this life there is great joy and fulfillment.

As For Me

I can make a difference where I am, even without the large office and big title. I can influence those around me by engaging in positive conversation that moves the organization forward. I can challenge the status quo to make the organization run smoother.

Where my definition of success has changed the most is how I am investing in my family and kids. I know I need to be available for doctor appointments and conversations at the end of the day. My definition of success is investing in the time my three year old needs of me, including the thirty questions that somehow made it to right before bed time. This means I put aside the things that do not matter, the things that the world says matters, and live a life that allows me to be fulfilled in my new definition of success.

In Conclusion…

I still struggle with which definition of success I want to follow. The definition that says I need to look important to the world and the definition that says the greatest job I will ever have is raising my little ones. This is another step in the balancing act of life. One thing I know for sure, is I want my kids to know without a shadow of a doubt that they come first.

How do you define success in your everyday life? Do you think you can have it both ways?

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

A Filter for Decision Making: 4 Questions to Ask When Making a Decision

I can’t not look at my life and evaluate it. From my marriage to my kids to my job to my personal development, I seem to constantly evaluate my life, where I am at and where I want it be in 1, 3, 5 years. This in and of itself is a great trait to have. But I used to make decisions and plans without the appropriate filter.

I didn’t understand my priorities.

I had not established, or identified, my core values.

This led to decisions that were not inherently bad in and of themselves, but did not move me in the direction I truly wanted to be moving in.

decisions 2

marlambie via Compfight cc

A great example is our last car purchase. I had a Honda Accord which we owned outright, but we didn’t have a SUV or truck as my husband had a car for work. Did we need to spend the money on the SUV at that moment? No, we probably could have waited a year or two and saved more money.  The decision wasn’t bad, as it is a great vehicle and has served us well, but it did not allow us to save the money we should have been saving.

How Often Do You…

How often do you make a decision based out of fear?

How about potential financial incentive without consideration of the time commitment involved?

What about what seems like the quick, easy fix?

I know I have.

A few years ago I changed how I made decisions. I came up with a filter based upon my priorities and core values.

What are Priorities and Core Values?

Priorities:

Your priorities are the people or things in your life that you find the most value in. What you deem most important in your life. Some people value money over relationships. Some value their family. My priorities are pretty simple. I place a high value on people and relationships. My people will always trump, well, pretty much anything.

Your priorities may include your spouse, kids, clean eating, exercise, margin, or personal development, to name a few.

Core values:

Your core values are the fundamental beliefs you hold. They are the guiding principles that dictate behavior and action. Knowing your core values allows you to make quick, swift decisions with clear future direction.

Core values can include integrity, honest, hard work, commitment, and perseverance.

So how do you develop a filter for making decisions?

Here are 4 questions to ask when making a decision:

1. Do you have all the information you need to make the decision?

To be able to make the best decision possible, you must ask questions. You must have as many answers in front of you as possible. Having the concrete information will allow you to line it up to your priorities and values.

2. Does this opportunity keep my priorities in the correct order?

If you say yes to this opportunity in front of you, does it enable you to keep the most important people and things in your life the main thing?

3. Does this opportunity help me uphold my core values?

If the opportunity before you goes against who you are, then your answer is clear. If a core value is integrity and the organization shows a lack of integrity from the beginning, it is best you pass on the opportunity. Most of the time, it isn’t as clear. If you know your core values, you can compare the opportunity before you and make the best decision.

If the opportunity before you goes against who you are, then your answer is clear. Click To Tweet

4. Does this help me in the next step in my…career, family, self-development?

If the answer is no to the question above, then the answer has to be no for the decision, or opportunity, before you.

In Conclusion

Since I started making decisions based upon my priorities and core values, I know almost immediately if the answer is yes or no. Professionally, if it does not help me move towards my short term and long term goals, then the answer has to be no, even if the opportunity is enticing. Even if it’s shiny. Because often the things we say yes to, even if it doesn’t fall into your priorities or core values, have some sort of appeal for the here and now that is hard to say no to.

What is a decision you made recently? Did you filter it through your priorities and core values?

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)