Want to experience the deepest richness life has to offer? Contribute to your fullest to the world around you? At some point you’re going to come face-to-face with the notion of success.
For many, success is a four-letter word. They either fear it, or long for it but don’t believe it’s within their reach. As a result, they play small. Even those who feel in their zone pursuing success often play smaller than they could.
And when we play small, everybody loses. Thinking small, acting small, not taking risks doesn’t just rob us of the amazing life we have the potential to experience. It also cheats the world of the impact we have the potential to make.
With that in mind, I want to share this 3-minute TED talk. Over the course of a decade, Richard St. John interviewed over 500 highly successful people, asking them what the key to their success had been. In the talk, he shares the eight key themes that he emerged (which also form the structure for his book, 8 to be Great).
If you don’t have three minutes to spare (Really? Come on!), here they are in a nutshell:
Passion: Do it for love, not money.
Work: Work hard. Have fun.
Good: Get damn good at what you do.
Focus: Zero in on one thing.
Push: Push yourself past what feels easy or comfortable.
Ideas: Be an idea generator.
Persist: Keep going, even when it’s hard.
Serve: Serve others something of value.
I started writing this post because the ideas he shares here are clearly important in making the most of our potential. But as it took shape, something felt incomplete.
The eight themes seem to be focused on the traditional achievement-oriented version of success. And while I have no issue with that as part of the puzzle, it’s not the whole picture.
As I’ve written about before, my philosophy of life, my core values, my spiritual beliefs can all be summed up in three words: Love, compassion, and service (for me, the Ripple Revolution model is a guide to showing up with love, compassion, and service, for yourself and for others).
So those three things are an inherently vital part of my picture of success. Given that, here are two elements I would add to the list of “success secrets.”
Love: Let love guide the choices you make and actions you take. Let love be the lens you look through at the world around you. Ask yourself, “What would love do here? How would love see this person? What choice would take me down the path of love?”
Be compassion: This might actually be just another way of saying “love,” but I think it’s worth focusing on specifically. In your interaction – both with others and with yourself – be compassion. Live compassion. Work to make embody it and make it your default mode.
For me, these last two create a frame within which all the rest unfolds, keeping it all focused on what’s truly important.
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Brought to you by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst TM
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