Measurement of success

A true measurement of success is not what goal you achieve, but what you have to overcome to achieve the goal.

A recurring theme I have to deal with when I coach with horses is the concept of being successful. As the client goes through the exercise they seems successful from my viewpoint, but not from their own. So they try again and again. Frustrated in the end they feel like they have failed.

We then go through the process of understanding expectations. What is success for you and how will you know you have achieved it? So often we have this picture in our mind of how life must be that we miss how life really is.

My clients have an expectation of how the exercise must be. This opinion is formed on what they think how I or the expert horse people will do the exercise. Not remembering I specifically told them there is no right or wrong and they must find a way that works for them.

Most of us make this mistake. We measure ourselves with someone else’s yardstick. This in my mind is a bit crazy. Nobody will measure distance with a measuring cup. No we use the right metric for the right quantity. We measure distance in kilometers and fluid in liters. Why then do we not measure our self with the appropriate measuring device?

Probably because very few of us take the time to decide what our own definition of success is. Do you know what you really want?

I invite you to think beyond the pleasurable satisfaction of needs that the marketers created for us. Listen to your unique voice. That deep stirring that asks to be released. It is your strengths, your wow-ness that wants to be engaged with life.

Make sure the picture in your head is your own and not someone else’s. Re-align that picture with your unique strengths and jump into life. Real life! That what is happening with you now! Get out of the future or the past. Engage with your daily challenges. Allow your strengths to be exhibited, tested and rewarded.

Because success is measured not by what you achieve, but by what you overcome to achieve it.

With Wow-ness


3 thoughts on “Measurement of success

  1. Thank you, H. This is something I’ve been considering & I think we also have/experience different kinds of success in different aspects of our lives – too often we just focus on professional success/failure, forgetting that I may be successful in my relationships, although the one, I believe, influences the other.

    Perhaps you could enlighten me with regards to this in your next post?

    • Hi Theunis.
      I agree with you. We need to know what success is in all aspects of our life. The ability to make finer distinctions is an skill that few of us have learned. To understand that I can be successful as a dad or husband is as important as being successful in a profession.
      Life is beautifully and complicated woven together as a whole. You and I are part and parcel of this whole. Ironically a lot of us think we are apart of life. That it something happening out there. The effect of this limiting worldview is that we think we can create a chasm between our professional and personal successes.
      Paradoxically the way to experience being one with the whole is to stand back and observe it. This gives us the vantage point to make the finer distinctions and then to choose what we want in which part of our whole.
      Hope this helps and thank you for reading my posts. I am privileged.

  2. Hi Herman,
    I also do read your posts…and OFM blogs… LUV it! thanks for your wisdoms shared…
    SUCCESS – my question is why its such an issue in the first place?… not only do we use the wrong measuring mechanisms -like comparison to others instead of self evaluation – which in turn is subjective and not objective, but we are driven by these pictures we sometimes have not even created ourselves – we were brought up with the prompts by society family or friends.. and then focus our lives to try and live up to others expectations… We should clearly not only try to redefine success – but ask why it is such an issue to be it – why not rather being content satisfied whole complete – somehow these words dont sound agressive enough for todays driven society – it sounds to meek… BUT that Inner Peace for me is the greatest sucess you can achieve!

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