How do you spell success?
Unfortunately many people spell it m-o-n-e-y, the more the better. But making money, while necessary for our lives, is never enough to make one feel truly successful. Besides, the funny thing about money and the things it can buy, is that someone always has more. Others may mistake power, or corporate size, or even happiness for success. While I have nothing against wielding power, running a large company with lots of employees (after all, I did) or feeling happy, none of those can ever equal success—both power and size, as well as happiness come and go, a temporary rush that may very well feel good, but can never last.
Instead what I would like to offer is three questions (I know, Passover has four). If you can answer “yes” to all three, you are experiencing the kind of success that can sustain you all the days of your life. And if you cannot answer in the affirmative, then you have a choice to make—change your circumstances or accept the fact that you are now less than successful and probably will remain that way. Nothing wrong with that, so long as you accept responsibility and don’t blame others, or life itself. Ready for the questions?
Am I using my gifts?
That is, are the qualities, talents, abilities I have being used on a daily basis? Each of us is unique. Too often we take on jobs or tasks that do not call on us or challenge us to be the best version of ourselves. In fact, most Americans say that their best gifts are NOT being utilized at their current job. I find that incredibly sad. That’s a lot of hours of one’s life to be spending in that manner. While we may accomplish everything on our To Do list, providing us with a sense of relief or accomplishment, unless what I am doing feels like it comes from my inner being, I will never feel truly successful. And, just to note, while our core identity remains with us from birth to death, our gifts are not static; rather, they may change and develop as we age. Probably will.
Am I making a positive difference?
Do my efforts impact anyone or anything? Does the fact that I exist even matter in the world? I need to see that my work and my deeds have a positive effect on others, on our world. That corroborates that I matter and that my presence contributes and makes a difference. In fact, in the many conversations I was privileged to have with folks in the latter stage of their lives, one recurrent theme was, “Did my life really matter?” Sometimes, people do not experience this at their professional lives but do so in their volunteer experiences. And, what I have witnessed too many times to count, people make the courageous decision to turn their avocation into their vocation. So great!
Am I appreciated for my contribution?
Yes, I know, goodness is its own reward. True. Nevertheless, as a human being I have feelings and ego and I need to know that someone sees me and the things I do as meaningful. Appreciation comes in many forms—recognition, reward, promotion, pay raise, shout out at a staff meeting, post it note on your computer, even a simple thank you or hug will often do. All tell me that someone is grateful for my efforts on behalf of others.
When we come to the end of our lives, a sad yet significant moment in time I had the privilege to share with so many others, people rarely regret what they did, but they often regret what they failed to do. Use your gifts, make a positive difference, feel appreciated and you will never have any regrets. That’s a promise!
I exist to be a connector—connecting people to themselves (allowing for awareness and insight, as well as wholeness and personal growth); to one another (creating sacred community); and to God (linking themselves to a Higher Purpose in all they do in life).
Phone: (305) 794 – 0442