The Paradox of ‘Success’ – What does ‘Success’ Mean to You?

What does ‘success’ mean to you? How do you define it? What underlying values and core beliefs guide your vision of success? Has this vision changed over the years? Has it changed with you?

Many of us rarely find the time to deeply reflect on these questions. Most of us are ‘too busy’, ‘trying to get ahead’, ‘trying to pay off the mortgage’ or just drifting. I know what this is like. We often feel there is someone else or something else pulling the strings, and control feels like an illusion.

A while ago I found the conviction to take some time out to deeply reflect, re-focus and re-design. Defining and writing down core values and beliefs for myself, my work and my family created an actionable framework. This gave me a compass.

Much of this work led to my own unique vision or design of what a ‘successful’ life and body of work looks like. Having a distant perspective helps. Stepping outside the usual grind or routine of work is essential. In the past I tried to do this infrequently. Usually through an annual retreat. This was not enough. It rarely gave me momentum. Often if gave me insights and actions that were shelved. Business can shelve a lot of important things.

Now I structure reflection time weekly and monthly. This takes planning and perspective to a new level. I have found it takes living and work to a new level.

In my book, ‘True Wealth- Principles and Practices’ (see ), I document many of these insights. In particular, I discuss the paradox of success-

“Failure is just a perception. Beyond the perception we find its true function- to help us grow and to serve others. Therefore the flipside of failure is true success.” (p.115).

The next time you feel rushed, the next time you feel captive to self imposed routines, or a business meeting or deadline, ask yourself- truly what does success mean to me? What does it look like? What does it feel like? Importantly, is what I am doing right now getting me closer to success? Is this picture of success I have in my mind something I still want, and is it likely to last?

I spent considerable time on these questions. That time was, and is, never wasted. In fact, it is imperative.

Regards, Lee M. Spano, Creatness International CEO

© Copyright Lee M. Spano,All rights reserved.