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Defining Success

How much of your life are you living for other people?  That has been a theme in my office over the past few weeks.  I keep hearing the same messages “I should be at this point”, “By the time I reached this age I thought I would be at a different point”, “My parents always told me I should be a _____”, “I really want to stay home and take care of the kids and financially we can handle it but I should be working”.

All of these outsiders telling us what to do and where we should be.  Offering some sort of invisible measuring stick of success.  Bottom line, at the end of the of our lives the biggest way we can be a success is to live a life that is hits our values and makes us feel whole and complete.  Too frequently we get caught up in the invisible measuring stick or living our life for other people.  We don’t even think about what WE want or value or need.  Here’s news, there is no invisible measuring stick of success.  Success is defined by each individual.  Only YOU can identify what success will be measured by in your lifetime. Is it how much money you make, how well adjusted your children are, how many countries you visit, or how many moments that left you breathless?  Recently, I have taken an informal pool asking people what defines success at the end of their lives, and they all have a different answer.  Rarely is the response, how much money they make or how successful they are.  Most answers involve laughter, joy, passion, and relationships.

But still we get stuck on being successful and measuring up to the invisible measuring stick.  So I am curious, how do you define success?  What makes your life successful?  What is your measuring stick consist of?  And most importantly if I could be a fly on the wall of your life using your measuring stick would I define you as successful?  Or have you gotten caught up in measuring yourself by someone else’s stick?

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