You Want To Be Successful ?
So you want to be successful?
Well, don't you? Doesn't everyone? It seems to me that success is one of those mainstream concepts that has not been sufficiently challenged. I mean, what is it? Who defines it? You, or someone else? Is it a formula that never changes, always based on the same stuff - usually money, power, respect, fame - or does it change as life evolves?
Richard Branson, the well known billionaire founder of Virgin records and a serial entrepreneur, said that he measured Success by how happy he was, whereas Maya Angelou said "Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it." Winston Churchill is reputed to have quipped that, for him, Success was … "going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm!"
So we can see that it’s a very individual thing, which you get to define for yourself. There are many benefits to taking the time to redefine Success for yourself, but here's what I believe are the top three.
1. First off, when you have written down and memorised your definition of success, it becomes your barometer for life. You can sit back and look at everything you do - or don't do - and see if it helps you towards your view of what success really is.
For instance, I've never worked with anyone who decided that success was "working longer hours" or "feeling stressed a lot of the time!!"
2. Secondly, you get to challenge the world view of success, or your parents view, or your old schoolteachers view. These views of success may be hardwired in your psyche, causing you to act, do and behave in a certain way, simply because you haven't taken the time to challenge them.
When you do, you may need to discard some of them, especially any beliefs that have "should" or "ought to", or some fear or rationalisation in them.
When I decided to reframe my view of success 15 ears ago, I came up against beliefs that are very prevalent in corporate culture - that you should always work with your strengths. Well, at the time, some of my strengths were ( and still are ) a very analytical brain, great at maths, figures and I.T. processes and programming. So if I followed that logic, I would still be working in business, doing the same stuff. I certainly wouldn’t be sitting here in my dream life, in France!
While it's great to have skills and strengths, doing the same kind of thing for many years may not fill you with joy. So we need to look more at what makes us come alive than what (rationally) we are really good at. The other thing to note is that, when you decide to go for what makes you come alive, you'll meet fear in some shape or form. It’s a given, because fear and excitement are two sides of the same coin. Personally, I love meeting fear, because it shows me that I'm about to expand my comfort zone, to include whatever I've decided will bring me more passion and excitement. So if you meet fear ( which you will ) say Hello. Don't run from it. See it as your friend. As you move through it, it transforms into energy and excitement.
3. Third, when you redefine Success for yourself and begin to be proactive about it, you get to feel really good about yourself. The way of looking at success (below) is very different to setting goals - because, as we all know, if you don’t reach your goal, you'll feel terrible about yourself.
So let's look at Success as part of a three sided triangle, where you cannot set yourself up for failure, because the goal is not so important.
For instance, a goal for me this year may be this -
Goal - to run a half marathon in under 2 hours.
But there's an Intention behind it. The Intention ( How do I want to "be"? ) is - to get cardio fit.
Last, my measure of Success is whether or not I stick to the training plan. I like this way of looking at it, because then, it doesn’t really matter if I achieve the goal or not. I'll still be a success, because what I really wanted was to be cardio fit.
Another example. Two months ago, I stepped on to a stage with my guitar and performed at a music venue - for the first time! Was I feeling the fear? You bet! Did I perform fabulously? Er, probably not! Did it matter? No, not at all. What mattered was that I did it - and I felt really good about that.
Sometimes success is simply expanding your comfort zone to do what you love, regardless of how others view it.
Sometimes success is simply giving yourself time and space - including your own needs as a priority.
Sometimes success is simply nurturing your body with wonderful food. You decide!
One of my ex-clients once decided that for a particular year, her definition of success was "the ability to say no". It can be that simple.
Ultimately, you need to listen deeply to what your body, heart and soul are telling you - these are the messengers of your own wisdom, not anyone else's. And by the way, you can go as deep as you like with your definition of success. It's a good idea to segment your life into a few different areas, and decide what success looks like in each of those.
My favourite overall definition of success? TAKING A DREAM AND MAKING IT REALITY. First you’ve got to take the time to dream, to write it down and get very clear. I've done this many times, and , over the past 10 years ( i.e. in my fifties) here's the dreams I had that became a reality.
- Meet the woman of my dreams.
- Deepen the relationship continuously so that it never stagnates.
- Practice Tantra regularly.
- Open a Well-Being Centre.
- Create a body of work that is a mixture of Energy Healing, Personal and Spiritual Development. I've called it HQ - Holistic Intelligence.
- Run a half marathon in a time under 1h 50m.
- Perform on stage.
- Move to a warm climate.
I'm telling you this because I, Eoin Scolard, can confidently say that I am a success -on my terms. It does not mean that I'm filthy rich. I'm not. It does not mean that I have fame. I don’t. It does not mean that I have a lot of power over others. I don't - and frankly, I don't want that kind of power. My preferred power is the power to do the things I want and to say the things I need to - the power to be unashamedly me !
What my version of success currently means is this …..
That Drama, Stress and Negativity are almost non-existent.
That Peace, Love, Space, Joy, Stillness, Pleasure, Great Health, a Quiet Mind - are abundant in my life. I treasure them more than anything.
As the old saying goes - "What does it benefit a man(woman) to gain the whole world and lose his(her) soul?"
That's not to say that there isn't more refining to do- there always is - and that's the joy of life. Our visions for success will always be flexible as we mature and evolve. Here's to LIFE !! Here’s to SUCCESS – on YOUR TERMS !!
Join me for an interactive evening workshop in Dublin Belfast or Newry in January 2019 or, click here for my long-term intensive HQ Process ( halfay between Belfast and Dublin) - starts March 1st 2019