“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – Albert Schweitzer
There is no denying that success can bring with it a certain level of recognition, financial stability, and the opportunity to achieve personal and professional goals. However, the pursuit of success can often be all-consuming and ultimately lead to disappointment.
One of the reasons that focusing on freedom may be a better goal than success is that freedom allows for flexibility and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. When we are too focused on achieving a certain level of success, we may become inflexible and resistant to change, which can ultimately hold us back.
In contrast, valuing freedom allows us to make choices that align with our values and priorities, rather than being driven by the need to achieve external measures of success. This can bring a sense of fulfillment and purpose that success alone may not provide.
Furthermore, success is often fleeting and can be temporary. We may achieve a certain level of success, only to have it taken away due to circumstances beyond our control. In contrast, freedom is an internal state that cannot be taken away, no matter what happens externally.
One example of this is the story of former NFL player, Chris Kluwe. Kluwe achieved a level of success as a professional football player, but eventually found that the inflexibility and high-pressure environment of professional sports left him feeling unfulfilled. He has since found greater personal freedom and fulfillment through his writing and activism.
In conclusion, while success can bring certain rewards, it is often temporary and can lead to inflexibility and disappointment. Focusing on freedom, on the other hand, allows for greater flexibility, fulfillment, and the ability to live life on our own terms.
Here is an exercise that can help you define success for yourself:
- Take some time to reflect on your values, beliefs, and goals. What matters most to you in life? What do you want to accomplish or experience?
- Write down your thoughts on a piece of paper or in a journal. Try to be as specific as possible and include both short-term and long-term goals.
- Consider your past experiences and accomplishments. What have you achieved that you are proud of? What did you learn from these experiences?
- Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses. What are you naturally good at and what do you struggle with? How can you use your strengths to achieve your goals and improve upon your weaknesses?
- Based on your values, goals, and experiences, define success for yourself. What does success mean to you? What does it look like?
- Write down your definition of success and refer back to it regularly. Use it as a guide to help you make decisions and pursue your goals.
- Don’t be afraid to revisit and revise your definition of success as you grow and change. Remember that success is a personal and subjective concept, and it is okay to redefine it as your priorities and goals evolve.
If you’re interested in exploring the possibility of working with a business coach, I’d be happy to schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss your goals and how I can help you achieve them.