Good evening on this cold Sydney night. I hope you’re not too freezing. I wanted to talk tonight about success in terms of what does success mean for you, because we all have different definitions of success. If you Google it in any of the dictionaries, you’ll get things like, “Success is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose”, or “The attainment of fame, wealth or social status.”
I think it’s actually not true. I think there is no black and white answer to success. I think it’s a bit like saying something’s perfect. It’s completely up to an individual how they define perfection. In Botticelli’s era, the idea of a perfect woman was completely different to the idea of a perfect female in the 70s for example.
I think successes is like that. It’s deemed different for every generation and for every person. I don’t like the idea of us framing a particular definition for it. One quote I did like is actually a quote from Jim Rohn, which is, “Success is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.” I like that because I love the word extraordinary and I think we can all be extraordinary and all have extraordinary lives and do extraordinary things and so that one resonated with me.
Another one I like, oh my God, I should have looked up who said it, is, “Success is being able to do what you want, when you want, with whom you want to do it.” I remember posting that one day and someone came back to me saying that seemed really selfish. I was like, “No, actually spending a life doing the things you want to be able to do when you can do them, is nothing selfish about it. It is your life.” We get to choose that.
I think we’ve grown up being taught that doing the things that we want to do is selfish and that’s just sucky. It’s just totally sucky. I do believe success in whatever way you defined it, define it rather, is about living life on your terms because your terms equal your success. Your journey equals your success. Your choices equal your success, not somebody else’s choices, not somebody else’s definition. It can’t be defined by social media. It can’t be defined by a book.
Kim Kardashian may feel like she is the most successful person on the planet. Richard Attenborough may feel he is the most successful person on the planet. They are completely different. In my mind, they’re both incredibly successful people, but it’s different success. So that’s the point, is that it’s how you want to live, what you want to do, what you think success is.
Another thing we look at is one attainment is winning. I got a Gold Logie anyway, winning the Gold Logie, Red Logie, whatever we want to call it, the pinnacle of success. Or is it the 500 jobs and the knock backs and the day to day and the work that you did, the work that you love doing, that got you to that, is that the success? For me, I think that’s it.
So I look at, it’s funny, I actually look at, I had mentioned this before about looking at failure, past failure, not as a bad thing. I actually look at all my failures in life as part of my success because they’ve led me to where I am. They’ve made me change track or they’ve helped me learn something or they’ve helped me meet a new client or they’ve helped me understand myself a bit more.
So I see all those things as the road of success. I don’t see it as the final moment. If we pin all our hopes on that one final thing, like I’ll be happy when, I’ll be happy if. On that one thing and you get that one thing, so you define success as getting that job, you will be… You wake up the day you become a QC and you’ll be, “That’s it, I am a success.” And you do the job and you hate it. That’s not a great success story.
So you can’t pin success on a point, on an end point, on an end game, because what happens if it doesn’t work? What happens if you get there and you don’t like it? So success has to be based on doing things that bring you joy and fulfillment in all of the different areas of your life. And especially in a work scenario, success is very different. Some people are absolute workaholics and they love that. To them, success is working from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. They love being go, go, go, go and that kind of thing.
For other people, they go by the Tim Ferriss wheel of life. To them their idea of success is a four hour workweek. I don’t know how I’d fill my time if I just had a four hour workweek, although I know it’s not completely literal. So that’s not my jam. I like being busy but not workaholic busy.
And the other one that I want to talk about being success is, internal success versus external success. When I think about some of the things my clients or myself deem successful, they’re really internal. It’s about how we feel, it’s about an accomplishment, it’s about a goal that we’ve attained, it’s about the journey to get to that goal. We had to learn five steps to get to that bit. So all of that’s kind of that success path. They’re internal and they fill you and they help you grow and they help you learn and they help you become the person that you’re meant to be, they all help that bit.
Whereas if you have an external success marker, like $500,000 in the bank or a wedding with 200 people, or you’ll be successful when your child graduates with honors at university, those external success markers aren’t going to bring you joy. It might be a fleeting kind of, “Ooh, we did it”, but then it’s gone because it wasn’t… You weren’t marking your success on all the stuff that went on with it. So be really careful of that.
One of the things I encourage my clients to do and this is my encouragement for you guys tonight, is to sit down with a wheel of life exercise, you can grab it on my website or DM me and I’ll send it to you, and do your wheel of life and chances are… It’s not very wheely, it’s a bit like that, we all get a bit out of shape because we’re spending more time, energy and effort in a particular area.
So mark where it is and then write down… Just grab a glass of wine, sorry, cold nights like tonight, have a hot chocolate with some marshmallows, and grab a notebook and write down what success looks like for you in each of those areas of your wheel of life.
Once you’ve written down what you think success looks like in those those areas, write out two or three things that you need to do, that you need to start doing absolutely great, and some of them you could start doing tomorrow, to get to that success, to enjoy that success, to be growing that success internally. Remember, not external factors.
What does it feel like? What is it going to taste like for you when you’re feeling successful? There are words that are going to come up with that. There are words, there are emotions, there are colors, there are tastes, there are all sorts of things that are going to come up for you, depending on how your brain works with the kinesthetic, et cetera, that defines success for you.
So look at your wheel of life in those areas and work out what it is. Don’t pay attention to what other people tell you success is because that’s their success, not your success. And if you try and follow their success, you’re cactus before you start. So grab your wheel of life, work out what success means for you in all of the areas and have fun.
I will see you tomorrow. And don’t forget tomorrow, I’m actually going to start these in the morning, sometime in the morning. People pop on all day to see them, but I will be recording them in the morning, bright and sparky, instead of as I get my evening drearies on and I’ll talk to you soon. Bye.