“Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.” Nelson Mandela
How do you define success?
I’ve spent the last few weeks talking about freedom. Not political freedom, but the kind of freedom that is ours by choice regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in. Epictetus, Greek philosopher teacher and former slave taught these lessons. Viktor Frankl found his freedom while in a prisoner in the Nazi death camps of WWII. Neil Kaufman, author of “Happiness is a Choice” found it as he worked to help his son with autism grow into a functioning adult who graduated from college. Tony Robbins talks about it in his book “Awaken the Giant Within”. There are numerous examples from Wayne Dryer, Zig Zigglar, Jack Canfield and others that the freedom to be successful comes first from within. So, success comes with internal freedom. However, the question remains, “How do you define success”?
Is success represented by the number of dollars in your various accounts? Is it measured by the number of hours you put in? Is it measured by the number of fans or likes you get on Facebook or other social media platforms? How do you measure success?
If how much money you make is your measure of success may I offer you a word of caution? Consider how many celebrities commit suicide. They had more money than they needed and yet found life empty of meaning. Consider this too: how sustainable is popularity? Do you count success by the number of likes or fans you garner? What happens when that goes down or away?
Culturally we followed the “Outcome Based” results mentality, namely: Did you reach your goals? Did you make your quota? Problem is, in the pursuit of monetary outcomes or popularity contests are we becoming the people we want to be?
There is a cultural shift happening. People are becoming more interested in “Performance based results. I hear employers say, “I can train skills. I cannot train character.” This to me is very interesting. Talked about as if it was a new concept we are actually moving back to something Benjamin Franklin did. In fact, he wrote it was the key to his success. Each night before bed he evaluated his performance for the day in 13 different character qualities. He wasn’t rating his skill. He was evaluating his character. Perhaps it is time to do the same?
What character qualities do you need to strengthen or enhance to create the success that is long-lasting and personally satisfying? How free (on the inside) are you to create success?
FYI: Nelson Mandela, July 18, 1918 – December 5, 2-13, was the first black president of South Africa. He was an anti-apartheid revolutionary politician and philanthropist. His presidency began the dismantling of apartheid policies in his country.