What does success look like? If asked to describe a successful person, most people would probably point to someone who has achieved great heights in their career. That's not surprising, since, as a culture, we tend to be fairly work-centric.
There’s nothing wrong with focusing on being successful in your career, but by itself it’s an incomplete picture. It’s one-dimensional, and it fails to take into account the full scope of our lives.
You can be a superstar in your career and an abject failure in other aspects of your life. Your relationships could be in shambles. Your health could be on a downward spiral. You might feel spiritually empty. How successful is that, really?
It all boils down to focus and awareness. That which you focus on is more likely to happen than what you leave to chance. When the only measuring stick you are aware of is career success, other aspects of your life run the risk of being left to wither or, worse yet, crash and burn.
Try this: Sit down and make a 360-degree definition of success in your life. Look at multiple areas and for each of them, ask yourself, “What would success here look like?” Some areas to explore include:
- Relationships (romantic/family/friends)
- Personal growth
Defining success in all aspects of your life, not just career, gives you something more substantial and concrete to aim at. It also helps you recognize more quickly when things are drifting off course so you can take action and correct the situation.
After years as a professional malcontent, Curt Rosengren discovered the power of passion. As a speaker, author, and coach, Rosengren helps people create careers that energize and inspire them. His book 101 Ways to Get Wild About Work and his E-book The Occupational Adventure Guide offer people tools for turning dreams into reality. Rosengren's blog, The M.A.P. Maker, explores how to craft a life of meaning, abundance, and passion.