What makes my life worthwhile?
Nahid, I have been working, working, working, to achieve everything that is important to me, and now that I’m almost 50, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m missing the point of my life. It seems like there’s always something more to achieve, but I can’t keep waiting until everything is done to start enjoying life. If life isn’t about achievement, what is it about? You talk about “accelerating your success” on your website; how do YOU define success? – Lee
Lee, that is an excellent question. Success is related to accomplishments, and that’s why people who want to be successful often find themselves in a frenzy trying to chalk up as many accomplishments as they can. But, like you, most people reach a point when they realize that the accomplishments themselves don’t provide fulfillment. And then they ask the critical question, “What makes my life worthwhile”? The answer is different for everyone, but you can get to it by shifting your focus from WHAT you accomplish to WHO you are.
Instead of seeing your accomplishments as your success, try seeing them as a reflection of your success. In other words, success is based on WHO you are, and WHAT you do is simply one aspect of how you show up in the world.
WHO you are is more directly shown by HOW you approach everything you do in life. For example, if you are a hard worker who consistently puts effort into everything you do, then you will likely see this reflected in your grades at school, in your performance at work, and in any activities or hobbies you pursue. There may be times when someone who doesn’t work hard out-performs you, but that doesn’t take away from who you are and how you approach life.
One powerful question you can ask yourself is “what kind of person do I want to be, no matter what situation I’m in?” If you commit to being this kind of person, you may find that your attachment to your accomplishments goes away. You’ve anchored yourself to something deeper and more meaningful. Paradoxically, you will probably accomplish more, as a result of consistently behaving in a manner that is true to WHO you are.
Your question has inspired me to start working on a new exercise and workshop to guide people step by step through the process of defining personal success in this deeper, more meaningful way. Keep your eyes open for events listed on the website, and make sure to get on the e-mail list if you haven’t already so I can send you a notification when it’s ready!
Thanks so much for taking the time to ask this important question, and inspiring me to address it!