Think of a class you’ve wanted to take. Tuition is paid, supplies purchased. You enter the room on the first day. The professor hands out a syllabus listing everything you need to do to earn an "A" in the class. The measurements of success are defined for you.
What might happen if the professor, instead, asked you, “What do you need to do to earn an A? What effort must you demonstrate? What will satisfy your beliefs and standards of excellence?"
Would the effort you demand of yourself be different than the effort asked of the professor?
We are accustomed to being told what personal success looks, tastes, and feels like … our abilities to decide for ourselves have grown rusty. What happens when you’ve achieved success that has not been defined by you, but some other narrative?
It’s All About You
That trip to Europe. The regular weekend breakfasts at the local diner with your kids. Earning a degree. Starting a business. Failing a business. Watching a sunset. Training to run the marathon. Celebrating victories with your staff. Planting a garden. Finding love. Losing love.
Who you are is made up of your life experiences. And those experiences are shaped by both the large decisions and the seemingly small and insignificant choices we make every day.
You don’t always have control of outcomes but you do have control over your choices
Shouldn’t every single one of those choices be mindful and supportive of your personal definition of success? What choices and effort do you have to put forward so you feel worthy of an A in life?
Claim It or Relinquish It
The “it” here is control. Do want someone else to define success for you? Are you ready to relinquish your control over what you find meaningful in life? No? Then you need to make those choices yourself.
What goals can you pursue to be true to yourself? What is in sync with your beliefs, skills, and passions? What is meaningful to you?
Pursue these questions. You may find that the freedom to make the choices themselves, are what you wanted all along.
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Bruce Peters has spent the last 15 years living his own “Third Act.” Based on his personal experience and in working as a guide for hundreds of leaders, he has designed a unique process for getting beyond where you are and into the creation of your own Third Act for you or your organization. It starts with the question of what is the difference you want to make? Learn more at www.beyondteal.com.