Success is more often than not measured in monetary terms simply due to the universal way of ascertaining its size, amount, or degree which makes it easy to compare to or compete with others. The power of money comes from the fact that it is the most common and generally acceptable way of determining the value of things. However, what would you say, if I told you that wealth or net worth is just one of the six yardsticks in measuring success?
Let’s look at a simple analogy here for better understanding. You need to pass six courses to succeed in a program. However, you keep beating yourself up for not doing very well in one, for example, Module F, simply because you can easily measure how well you are faring once compared to other people’s scores. Even though you are doing great in the remaining five other modules, you are less bothered or even non-appreciative of them because you have nobody’s scores to compare yours with on those subjects. That is what we do whenever we measure our success in financial terms only.
Although measuring success materially is not wrong, focusing on this yardstick alone is also not the best, because it may make anyone who falls short complain incessantly, become ungrateful, and eventually become depressed. Hence, it is advisable to adopt a holistic approach as it’s somewhat risky to live by measuring success in terms of wealth alone. Using this approach identifies your areas of success and recommends what you can do to improve things in the next twelve months so that you can record success in those areas you stopped short.
Success measurement begins by assessing alignment with personal values. Consistent actions reflecting these values, coupled with a clear understanding of life’s purpose, are pivotal markers. Disruption in values or a lack of purpose can jeopardise inner peace. Equally essential is having a reliable source of comfort during challenging times. Reflecting on these aspects, contemplate your goals, and strategically plan the upcoming year to construct a foundation for a genuinely successful and fulfilling life.
The second area to measure success is your health. How physically and psychologically healthy have you been in the last twelve months? You deserve a pat on the back for a job well done if you maintained a healthy sleeping habit, ate healthy, exercised regularly, and kept all the doctors’ appointments even when not sick.
Success measurement begins by assessing alignment with personal values.
As we all know, health is not limited to the absence of diseases but includes a complete mental and emotional state. Therefore, one’s abilities to withstand and recover quickly from difficult situations or conditions, to always look at the positive side of things, to understand oneself, and to know how well to manage one’s emotions rather than being afraid to show or acknowledge them are a few ways to determine success in this regard.
The third success marker is your ability to easily connect with people, particularly those with similar mindsets. Success is indicated by developing and maintaining relationships, emphasising the “four-friends-life hack.” This involves having at least four close friends for quick support. Societal success implies a strong sense of belonging and a reliable support system. Evaluate your success in this aspect over the last twelve months by considering the strength of your connections and support network.
The fourth success marker is your cognitive prowess. As much as some people believe it is genetic, anyone can develop this through deliberate efforts. Some ways to achieve this are being happy to learn new concepts to improve your skills and being open to new ideas and experiences. Also, constantly adding to your knowledge bank through reading, certifications, and skill acquisition can make you very productive at work, thereby having a thriving career to be proud of. It may also interest you that experiencing job fulfilment at no cost to other aspects of your life makes you enjoy work-life balance and effective workload management with enough time for yourself and your family.
Success transcends mere financial or career achievements. A recent study highlights the positive impact of green spaces on an area’s value, emphasising the interconnectedness of success markers. Relying on a single metric is unfair and harmful. This year, prioritise environmental responsibility by enjoying green spaces, cultivating gardens, and appreciating seasonal produce. Stay informed about global warming, reduce your carbon footprint, and foster a clean, healthy environment. Success encompasses holistic well-being and responsible living, urging a conscious, multi-faceted approach.
Call To Action
“No matter what hell we go through in life, I am still just madly in love with this life. Life feels really different for me now. I am happier because I don’t stress over foolish little things that used to annoy me. And now, every single day that I breathe another breath, I can celebrate that I’m still here with you. I am here with my co-anchors, my colleagues, my family, and I can live and cry, and laugh, and hope. That, my dear friends, is enough!”
Those were some of the powerful words from CNN news anchor – Sara Sidner after breaking the news of having stage 3 breast cancer this week. She said she’s never been sick a day in her life, doesn’t smoke, rarely drinks, and has no family history of cancer. My prayers are with her as I believe she will pull through and overcome this.
However, considering this and how I’ve been able to suggest you measure your success aside from money. How successful do you think you are now? Kindly give this some deep thought while ensuring you don’t leave things to chance this year.
Olayinka Opaleye is a Wellbeing Specialist and Corporate Wellness Strategist. She writes from Lagos. Tel: 09091131150 or follow her on www.linkedin.com/in/olayinkaopaleye