How does one determine success? I guess you first have to decide how you define success. For many, success is defined by professional achievements, material assets, social status, and fulfillment of goals/aspirations. Not to minimize or discount any of those worthy accomplishments, I would define success very differently. For me, success is achieved by finding purpose, experiencing passion, and connecting with people in meaningful and intimate ways. Success is achieved through significance and having a positive impact on others’ lives. You’d be amazed at the ways you can impact others either in a positive or negative way through small actions or words.
Our lives are so filled with tasks, projects, goals, and responsibilities that we can easily lose track of the interaction and relationships that exist around us. Our society is becoming more fragmented and isolated which contributes to loneliness, depression, and stress. We can accomplish much, but achieve little. We focus on the objective and outcome while missing the connection and process. People that matter to us want to know we care and value them. They often aren’t looking for answers, solutions, and advice, but instead are looking for understanding and compassion. We completely miss the boat when we assume what the other person needs instead of asking them directly. How can we approach life differently?
We can start by making more of an effort to spend time face to face with people who matter to us and listen to their thoughts and feelings. Spend less time talking and more time listening. Appreciate the value of others’ feelings and validate them through acknowledgement. Success comes through people not material possessions or status. When we impact others’ lives in a meaningful way and influence them through our behaviors or words then we can experience significance and fulfillment.