I increasingly have conversations with both rising and established entrepreneurs around "what is success and why does it not feel fulfilling?"
Peter Drucker, the uber-management sage, said that as more people acquired wealth, they would shift to focusing more intently on making a purposeful impact on the world. The Millennials are focused on parallel tracking these.
I read a great post by coach, Erin Cox, on this. She focuses on not going after pure trophy achievements but on achievements that give you a sense of fulfillment and align with goals and the sense of your greater self...avoid the hollow victory.
"Not long ago, I believed being successful meant having a powerful title, a six-figure salary, and a beautiful home. These are all important, but I now understand the true meaning of success for me. During this past year, I achieved one of my greatest professional goals, which was to publish a book. By all logical means, I was experiencing great success!
Did I feel successful? I suppose I did on some level, but what I really felt was overwhelmed, afraid of failing, and stressed.
This experience was a powerful lesson to carefully create my goals and aspirations around the way I want to feel and live my life. After lots of meditation (and a little suffering), I became completely clear about what true success means to me.
For me, success is measured in moments of pure joy and time spent loving my children. Success means helping another person achieve their greatness and using my God-given gifts to make the world a better place. Success is having complete freedom, both financially and with time. I now work two or three days a week and spend more time with my family and creating a Zen home life.
Success to me means feeling peaceful, grateful, abundant, joyful, light-hearted, influential, and generous. (MBM Note: replace these with terms that resonate with you. Could be: authentic, empowered, energized, optimistic, change agent, connected, aware, etc)
Have you taken the time to get clear about what success means to you? How would you feel if you achieved all of your biggest goals?
I encourage you to gain clarity, not only about the goals you want to attain, but how you want to experience them. What would every part of your ideal life look like, from your bank account to your working space and your home life?
Once you are clear and in alignment, Life will support you in achieving success on your terms."