I wonder how many books and articles have been written about “success”? Probably enough to carpet the earth. And, if I did a survey and asked one hundred people to give their definition of success, my guess is that I would get one hundred different definitions.
Same goes for “failure”.
I asked myself to define success and failure. Here’s what I came up with:
Success usually means I’ve arrived at one, of two or three possible, expected outcomes (future based).
Failure usually means that I’ve arrived somewhere else (future based).
So, I started thinking about how much I limit myself with those definitions. And that led me to wondering why it is that I feel disappointed when I haven’t arrived at one of those possible, expected outcomes.
It didn’t take long for me to figure out that disappointment has to do with forgetting to live in the moment, with becoming so invested in the future, that I’ve overlooked the golden opportunities that are right in front of me.
Take passion for an example. Passion requires presence. Passion isn’t something that happens yesterday or tomorrow. It’s something that happens in the present moment. Passion is its own reward. Passion is independent of outcome. It’s about being present, now.
So, I’ve changed my definitions of success and failure. If I can ask myself one question, and the answer is “yes”, then I’m living in the present moment. That question is: Would I be doing this if there was no guarantee of any particular outcome? If the answer is “no”, then I’m not truly present in the moment.
Now, that feels better.
©Janet Mitchell, July 2012