What is Success?

Definition of Success:

The last two years with the financial meltdown and the subsequent recession  have produced an environment of contemplation to say the least. With shrinking fortunes, the loss of assets, jobs, marriages, friends and coworkers the admiration of your children have left many of us bewildered confused, depressed and sad. If we find ourselves in one or more of these situations are we failing? Are we a failure? Many find themselves in the midst of the loss of all the above, are they done for? Game over? I guess it depends on how you define success. If you define success by the things you possess, your investment portfolio, your job, your beautiful or handsome wife or husband, your social circle, fair-weather friends or even your great kids then odds are you have a problem. These are obviously very important pieces of the pie that make up our lives and to be affected by the loss of one or more will affect us as it should, but define us? Maybe not. By the way does success and happiness go hand in hand? I believe they do.

An Alternate Definition of Success:

I would like to suggest that success is primarily an internal reality. That success is the ability to align ones thoughts and behaviors with ones highest values and beliefs. Ah! and therein-lies the complexity of this definition “values and belief” oh boy rather that get into worldviews, religion and philosophy I will cut to the chase and suggest some words that I believe could be used that would reflect a universal world view and be in alignment with most if not all religion’s. Before we get to it I would like digress for a moment and talk about goals. For years my goals centered around Relationships, Money, Homes,Vacation Homes, Cars, Trips and Vacations etc. etc. These are all good and well but have come to believe these are what I now call 2nd tier goals. External goals!

Your Highest Vales and Beliefs may at first start out as Goals:

Many wonderful authors and speakers have helped many of us through the success literature they have produced. Three tenants that thread through the best is the use of written goals, affirmation and visualization. I for example from a very early age (age 15)  began using written goals, affirmations and visualization. For example I had a written goal to own a certain car, I stated to myself through affirmation that I would own this car and then I would visualize myself in this car. I would repeat this cycle until the goal was achieved.  I believe that these 2nd tier goals have played a critical role in my life but ultimately not enough. Only much later in life did I discover as a result of significant ongoing emptiness, frustration at times despair did I stumble upon the concept of first tier goals. 

First Tier Goals: Internal Goals

First tier goals are the articulation of our highest aspirations, beliefs and values. They are internal and have a profound  effect on our emotional life and how we act and react to life and it’s ups and downs. They often lead to the achievement of second tier goals, and so much more. So here we go….

Examples of first tier goals are as follows:

Simplicity-Keeping life simple where possible, setting limits

Mystery-You, other people all is filled with mystery keep exploring

Imagination-Developing your imagination

Creativity-Develop and express creativity in concert with imagination

Generosity-Nurture a spirit of goodwill and generosity

Spiritual well being- Pursue a sense of awareness and peace

Optimum mental health-Check your attitudes and get help if you have chronic negative thought cycles

Optimum physical health- Your body is the vehicle in which you experience the world (Check into Yoga)

Connection to self- Learn the difference between ego and self and navigate accordingly

Ego management- Keep your ego in check

Meditation-20 minutes a day will change your life

Having a relationship with yourself- Be your own best friend, meet your own needs let others be the icing on the cake

Being comfortable with yourself- Understanding first tier goals should gradually lead to being more comfortable with yourself and living in your own skin as they say

Does all of this sound a little self-centered? Well it is, but I believe its in the right context. Take care of yourself keep your second tier goals, but insert right up front your own 1st tier gaols.  Just as with 2nd tier write them down, word them as affirmations, and visualize yourself experiencing the emotional benefits.

I believe if we are able to maintain our first tier values and goals all the while our 2nd tier world is falling apart that we can grow, learn and prosper in ways that would not have been possible otherwise.

I believe that our lives are an ever unfolding of awareness and that through our relationship with ourselves, families, friends, coworkers we push the envelope of awareness and discover positive change and new capacities that enrich our lives and the lives of others.

All The Best

Thomas Brian Rose

About Tom Rose

Tom Rose is beginning his 17th year as CEO, Thomas Center Business and Management Consulting, located in Woodinville, Washington. Most clients have been with him for more than 10 years. Tom’s unique approach is founded on the principle of collaboration.

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1 Comment for this entry

Craig T
September 18th, 2010 on 10:18 pm

I totally agree, as core values/principles/1st tier goals are imparative. I’ve spent the last year working on my core’s and it has been the best thing. Glad I stumbled across this blog, good stuff.