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The 8 Pieces Of The Puzzle
Experience even more success by using all 8 pieces of the Feeling Successful Puzzle
I was recently asked two great questions about this sometimes-elusive thing called ‘success’. The first question was about how to become more successful in life and the second question was about defining what success is. For me, I think it is easier to answer the how question after I work on my definition of success. So here we go.
Firstly, success is not a thing, but a feeling. That is why someone can look successful on paper. They have the dream house, car, partner, job, bank account, pets, (add anything I might have missed), but they don’t FEEL successful. It doesn’t matter what amount of things you have, if you don’t feel successful. The material stuff is only part of the success equation. And that is why you cannot feel wholly successful, because there are other parts to the equation. Feeling ‘sort of’ successful is not where most us want to spend our time. We would like the feeling to be complete. Therefore I have come up with eight main parts of the puzzle that create an authentic and holistic feeling of success, which are:
1. Feeling daily positive emotions
2. Having high quality relationships
3. Feeling connected
4. Feeling like you are growing
5. Having and moving towards meaningful goals
6. Having financial flow
7. Experiencing optimum health and vitality
8. Being authentically yourself 24/7
Our greatest feelings of success are experienced when we are ticking all of the boxes. I believe the most successful (and content) amongst us, have most of these covered off to a high degree and don’t just focus on one area.
Now that brings us back to the other question. How do we become more successful? How about I provide one strategy for each of the eight parts.
1. We can experience more daily joy by recalling 5 things we are grateful for. This primes us to notice the good in our life, and experience the emotions that follow those thoughts.
2. To increase the quality of your relationships, increase how present you are with partners, friends, family, and colleagues. Stop thinking about the past and the future and be fully, 100% present and engaged with the person in front of you. It might also mean you have to put the cell phone on silent.
3. To connect to life, just breathe. Deeply. Realize the preciousness of every breath. Know that in 99.9999% of cases the oxygen you are breathing is freely given by this planet, we are all living on. Realize you are always connected to something bigger.
4. Now the growth thing. We need to feel like we are growing. Tony Robbins, that famous success coach, suggest that growth is actually a basic human need, in order for us to feel fulfilled. So do something that stretches you. Whether it is a new hobby, or skill, or responsibility, or project. Lean into our edge and feel the thrill of growing.
5. Time to tick the meaningful box by ensuring you have meaningful goals in your life. This is a big piece of the happiness equation as well. For me, meaningful goals are good for me, good for others, and good for the greater good. How do your bigger goals measure up against those criteria? You might need to go back to the drawing board and dream bigger.
6. Of course the money thing comes into success. I am sure you will agree: little or no money = stress. So we need to create a way to make it flow. Whether that is being an outstanding employee or running your own business. When we feel we can generate or access more money if we need it, then regardless of the number that sounds pretty successful to me.
7. If your health sucks it is pretty hard to feel successful. I am sure you know the basics. Move your body regularly and as the author Michael Pollan wrote, ‘(Eat) Real food. Not too much. Mostly plants.’ Plus I like to throw in a bit of meditation while we are on the healthy mind, healthy body subject.
8. Finally, you have got to be you. If you need to put on a mask or persona or act to be in a relationship, job or friendship, then you are going to struggle with feeling successful. You will feel more like a fake or phoney. Part of being successful is living life and showing up in life as you. Not having to make excuses or be someone you are not. The strategy here is to work on owning the imperfect you, and being able to say with conviction, “I deeply and completely accept and approve of myself.”
There you go. A quick look at the game of success and how to play a winning hand. Too often people focus on one or two areas of the success pieces at the expense of the whole and then wonder why they look successful, but don’t feel successful. Maybe there is an area you might need to dust off and spend some more time on. What might it be and what can you do today to feed your feelings of success with the right fuel?