The Road Less Traveled

What Is Success

What is success and how could one possibly achieve sustainable success in all aspects of life? This is most likely a question that comes to mind for many of you. I will be honest; it came to my mind because one of the things that has been engrained in our culture is the importance that compromise plays in achieving success in business, with your family relationships, and romantic relationships. Compromise has been and continues to be one of the biggest hindrances to achieving comprehensive success in all aspects of life.

So, what is success, what does success look like, and how can success be achieved? Success is a very dynamic word that has and will continue to be interpreted in very different ways by each individual who defines it. As a result, I will not give you one definition for success; however it is my intention that

this post will help you begin to think about what success looks like for you in all areas of your life that you value.

Few people throughout the course of human history have achieved real sustainable success that penetrates all aspects of ones life. I know that this seems discouraging, but I will tell you it is not discouraging. Achieving real sustainable success in all aspects of life is a very simple thing to achieve at its core; the reason that such a small number of people achieve it is due to a lack of motivation. Most people you come in contact with on a daily basis would tell you that they would love this kind of

According to a Huffington Post article, only 1 in 3 people are genuinely happy in the United States today. The link that the article relates to the level of unhappiness is a direct correlation to stress levels. Stress is caused by a change in what one believes to be normal and good.

Triggers of stress include, work related issues, family and relationship issues, health complications, and sudden changes that are perceived to be negative. All of the stressors mentioned above have a direct correlation to ones perceived level of personal success.

So, how can one achieve genuine sustainable success in all aspects of his/her life?

Common Myths

Before we can move forward with how one can achieve genuine authentic sustainable success, we must first address and uncover some common myths to achieving success.

Play The Game—This is a myth that is preached with regularity with in professional and corporate settings. The foundation of the myth states that if you were to be real with your co-workers, managers, bosses, and clients about your frustrations, concerns, and shortcomings, you would negatively impact your potential for achieving success in the workplace.

I will level with you, being real at all times and not playing the game is a scary uncertain thing to do. Your current situation may be negatively impacted in your current state, but if you are first real with yourself and then real with everyone around you, you will begin to start down the path to achieving genuine success and you will feel a freedom that is infectious. This outlook will make you extremely attractive to future individuals that cross your path and it will open doors to opportunities you never thought would be possible for you.

Never Show Vulnerability—This is a byproduct of playing the game. There is a commonly held belief that being vulnerable shows weakness. Therefore, put on your game face, be strong, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, and project something you are not.

This outlook will lead you to a miserable place. Vulnerability can be one of the hardest things to put into practice on this road less traveled, because of personal pride. If you are able to be vulnerable, I promise that your managers, bosses, family members, friends, and significant others will respect you for it. This is not to say they will agree with you on your position, but they will respect where you are coming from.

Always Project a Positive Self Image—In order to effectively manage, motivate, influence, or sell, you must always project only positivity. Do not acknowledge another persons current state, instead allow your positivity to bring the other person to your level. This could not be more incorrect. The truth is that people respect honesty, they want to feel heard and acknowledged, and they want to feel good about themselves. This principle ties directly back to the importance of vulnerability. It is okay to meet others where they are, to admit shortcomings in yourself or product. Nobody is perfect and all people want is for you to be the real them.

Rules of the Road Less Traveled

Always Be Authentic, Honest, and Real—We live in a mascaraed society that limits real genuine connections. In order to be able to achieve this, you first need to identify the things you value most in your life, what are your beliefs on the world around you, and what is the driver of your happiness.

What is it that drives you to get out of bed in the morning?

Why do you do the things you do on a daily basis?

What motivates you at your core as a person?

Cultivate Emotional Intelligence, Empathize—Emotional intelligence is one of the key cornerstones to achieving comprehensive success in all areas in your life. Emotional Intelligence is, “is the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict.”

Emotional Intelligence is increasingly believed to play a more impactful role on success than an individuals IQ score.

Components of Emotional Intelligence are:

  • Being Self Aware— You recognize your own emotions and how they affect your thoughts and behavior, know your strengths and weaknesses, and have self-confidence.

  • Self Management—You’re able to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, manage your emotions in healthy ways, take initiative, follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing circumstances.

  • Social Awareness—You can understand the emotions, needs, and concerns of other people, pick up on emotional cues, feel comfortable socially, and recognize the power dynamics in a group or organization.

  • Relationship Management—You know how to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, work well in a team, and manage conflict.

Search For The “Why”—Being able to connect with people on a deep level and finding why they do what they do is a cornerstone to achieving comprehensive success that is sustainable. An effective way to uncover another persons why, is using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Psychological Needs—Find out what psychological needs are valued most.

Safety and Security—Learn what it is that makes that person feel safe and secure.

Love and Belonging—Meet the individual where he/she is to make him/her feel loved and like he/she belongs.

Self-Esteem—Believe in the other person by identifying and highlighting aspects of that person that are positive.

Self-Actualization—Validate who he/she is at the core. Match and mirror emotional highs and lows.

Be Willing to Go the Extra Mile—When you genuinely understand another person at the core, you will then be able to know why he/she does what he/she does, what motivates him/her, and what he/she is really looking for from you. There will be many times when the need of another person does not meet your “job description,” do not let that limit you or your opportunity to influence another persons success.

Going the extra mile looks past what you owe and what you perceived is owed to you. Going the extra mile does not look at the past to determine the current state. Going the extra mile means that you willingly give to another person something of value, that he/she did not earn or deserve with the expectation of receiving nothing in return.

The Secret To Sustainable Success

The secret to the level of success I have discussed in this article is living with an others first perspective. It is being able to live with a “golden rule” perspective of treating everyone in your life, as you would want to be treated with no strings attached, without conditions.

The Big Idea

Your sustainable success that pentetrates all aspects of your life will come when you genuinely try to make everyone you come in contact with as successful as you can, without any terms or conditions.
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