suc·cess (sək-sěs')Do you feel successful? How do you measure it? Is it short-term or long-term success? Are you fulfilling your potential? Do you have a sense of purpose?
- The achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted: attributed their success in business to hard work.
- The gaining of fame or prosperity: an artist spoiled by success.
- The extent of such gain.
- One that is successful: The plan was a success.
These are the sorts of questions that bother me constantly. My library of books on the subject is rather extensive. A sampling of some of my favorites includes: Finding Your Own North Star, The Success Principles, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Unlimited Power, and Live the Life You Love.
One of the better exercises that I've found lately was Steve Pavlina's How to discover your life purpose in about 20 minutes. It didn't take me 20 minutes, and it wasn't much of a surprise. The only surprise might be to people who know me but don't really know me.
But with my rather extensive knowledge of success literature, do I feel successful? No, not really. I feel rather proficient at short-term results but have not achieved long-term goals. I have what achieved what Martha Beck would say is success on my social self's terms, not my essential self.
What have you achieved that you valued most in this life? What have you put energy into that seems wasted?
If you want an example of why it's important to seek your dreams, and not waste your time, watch this "last lecture" from Randy Pausch.