Success and What It Really Means To You

ID-10041397What is success, really? Perhaps your beliefs about success are based on society’s definition and/or what you were brought up to believe. Is success for you money, prestige, public recognition…or could that be someone else’s view of success?
For many of us, our definition of success is based on a belief system resulting from past conditioning. How you define success may actually be holding you and others back. If you were to take the time to consider your present beliefs about success, you might see the ‘success’ you desire is being achieved at a high cost. The price might be paid in other areas of your life such as relationships, family or health, a cost many of us pay for our achievements.
Related: Simply More is an Executive Business Coach and Communication Consultant in Calgary.

Go deep
Take some time to reflect on success and what it means to you. What is REALLY important to you in your life? Is that where most of your attention is being focused? Family may be the most important thing in the world to you, but you may be spending most of your waking hours at work. If so, are you truly successful?
“A successful life is one that is lived through understanding and pursuing one’s own path, not chasing the dream of others.”  -Chin-Ning Chu
Reflecting on your beliefs about success may lead to redefining it. This may be a turning point—where you decide not to let others define it for you. No matter what we’ve achieved, many of us have a natural yearning for something ‘more in our lives’—the desire to be more, do more and have more. We may know what to do, but we aren’t taking the necessary actions to get there—to be healthier, to spend more time with our families, to take our careers to the next level. Often, we get in the way of our desires.
Get out of your own way
In his book “What Got You Here Won’t Get you There”, Marshall Goldsmith, one of the five most respected executive coaches by Forbes and a top-10 executive educator by the Wall Street Journal addresses the fundamental problems that often come with success, naming the 20 habits that hold us back from the top.
You – Reinvented
Perhaps it’s time to start the conversation. What do you want out of life? Really want out of life? This can be an opportune time to work with a coach to dig deep to get at your beliefs and explore them. And perhaps to redefine them.
Related: Simply More is a Business Consultant in Calgary specializing in executive coaching, team facilitation, and leadership training.

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – Marshall Goldsmith
Bookclips: The only natural law I’ve witnessed in three decades of observing successful people’s efforts to become more successful is this: People will do something-including changing their behavior-only if it can be demonstrated that doing so is in their own best interests as defined by their own values.
Bookclips: Take a look at work. Why are you there? What keeps you coming back day after day? Is it any of the big four-money, power, status, popularity-or is it something deeper and more subtle that has been developed over time?
Success Intelligence – Robert Holden
Bookclips: Relationships are the heart of success. How true is this for you?
Bookclips: If you cannot see yourself being successful at something, you will probably talk yourself out of trying. Or, if you can see you have a talent for something, you may find all sorts of inner strength and external help. All your decisions are based on what you see you are capable of and, also, what you think you deserve.
What is Success – A Better Definition:
Questions that Create Success:
Steve Jobs explains the rules for success:

Would you rather be right or be happy?

Think back to times when you’ve been busy defending your position, telling your story, building the case for why you are right and the person or situation is wrong.
What’s this all about?
In a word – Control. People who need to be right may be insecure; if they get validation from others, it means they’re in control. When they’re in control, they can make things turn out the way they want to happen.
The illusion
It’s all a myth. Being in control is an illusion. When we believe we can controls things, nothing bad will happen. But you can’t control people—you can’t make them do what you want them to do all the time. Being in a struggle for control is a zero sum game.
Related: Simply More offers Emotional Intelligence Workshops.
Black and white thinking
Try to live in the gray. There are thousands of shades of gray on the spectrum from black to white. Each of them provides a much richer telling of a story that is rarely as clear as this or that. Right vs. happy is more about the desire to be in control.
Our egos react when we feel we’re being attacked. We get on the bandstand with a megaphone or respond with a sledgehammer. All this does is help to build resentments. We dwell on the negativity, giving up valuable real estate in our minds to situations as we replay them over and over again. And we bring those negative emotions into new relationships, keeping us stuck in the past.
Here are some of the ways we behave when we’re stuck in this unhealthy pattern of needing to be right:
The Daily Victim. We wake up each day and rehearse the role of victim when we’re unwilling to forgive, holding tight to past hurt and resentment, replaying it in our minds repeatedly. This automatic replay reinforces the ego’s illusion and strengthens our victim perception. Eventually we identify so closely with the role of victim that we begin to establish that dynamic in many or all our relationships.
The Angry Boxer: When the ego feels attacked, its immediate response is to fight back. The ego believes in fear and in a cruel, merciless world Its always on the alert for another attack. Defensive thoughts and energy develop into a wicked cycle, creating more negative experiences.
The Shut-Down and Protected: The ego convinces this person to isolate from the world for fear of being hurt again. The result is living small and evading all potential conflict by avoiding intimacy completely.
Letting go of the need to be right and surrendering to forgiveness is the only way out of this nightmare. If we truly want to enjoy relationships, we need to respect others have a right to their opinion and there is more than one perspective in any situation.
Related: Simply More is an Executive Business Coach and Communication Consultant.

Choosing happiness is a full-time job
There are always as many choices as there are pros and cons and multiple views in every experience.  Allow yourself to see choice and then choose the best one:

  • Let go of your need to be right.
  • Stop playing the blame game – although a natural human being reaction, it leaves you powerless.
  • Be willing to be responsible for the square you are standing on in your life and in relationships.
  • Remember, our view is formed by a number of thoughts that create an experience in which we live as “the” reality.  There are a number of ways to view any situation.
  • Ask yourself, “What is it that I’m not seeing?”
  • Be willing and open to think differently and therefore see another view
  • Be compassionate – a willingness to see that you and they are doing the very best with all that is known

 “Admitting you were wrong about something isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of objectivity and maturity” – Unknown
“There are no facts, only interpretations.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
Some questions to ask yourself

  1. When in the middle of a conversation or situation, how often are you willing to try on other perspectives that may give you a clearer view?
  2. Where do you play the blame game? How does it impact your life?

Leadership Wisdom – Robin Sharma
Bookclips: My role as a leader was really about freeing people’s strengths and allowing them the freedom to develop themselves….keys to this: keep my promises, listen aggressively, being consistently compassionate and becoming fanatically honest.
Reclaiming Higher Ground – Lance H.K. Secretan
Bookclips: Vince Lombardi was not a fan of fear and intimidation.  He led with love creating exhilaration within his team.  He coached them to greatness with love!
Changing Your Perspective:
Changing Perspective to Solve Problems:
The Cost of Being Right:
 Related: Simply More is a Business Consultant in Calgary specializing in executive coaching, team facilitation, and leadership training

Going nowhere….fast

I’m not going to shock anyone by stating many of us are on the verge of burnout. In October 2012, the Globe and Mail reported “work-life balance for Canadians is more off kilter than ever. Despite years of warnings about striking work-life balance, Canadians are in a deeper rut than ever. Almost two-thirds of us are working more than 45 hours a week – 50-per-cent more than two decades ago. Work weeks are more rigid, with flex-time arrangements dropping by a third in the past 10 years. To top it off, only 23 per cent of working Canadians are highly satisfied with life. That’s half as many as in 1991.”
(Source: Globe and Mail Work-Life Balance)
How many hats am I wearing today?
In the workplace, the expectation is that for a minimum of eight hours each day, we will perform our best. For many of us, it’s much more than eight hours. And most of us attempt to do that without doing anything to support us in our efforts, while still carrying out several other roles. We are also parents, spouses, friends, caregivers of elderly relatives and some of us take on volunteer commitments in our communities. On top of all of that, it’s important to take care of our own physical, emotional and mental well-being.
It’s no surprise balance among all these priorities is difficult to achieve, if not impossible. Few of us leave work at the office or forget about our personal lives when we walk out the door in the morning. A high percentage doesn’t take enough vacation time, letting it accrue, in spite of feeling exhausted and desperate for some time off. The fear of letting go of control and the image of the potential disaster awaiting our return seems to outweigh the benefits of relaxation and time away. Most people average between two and six weeks vacation per year with few exceptions; careers last on average 50 years with many exceptions because most people can’t afford to stop working.
A different approach
But here is some information that will surprise you — workplace and business demands far exceed the performance demands placed on professional athletes.
Why? Because the approach they take is holistic. Think about this – professional athletes are perceived as being superbly skilled at what they do, but the reality is they only spend about 10 percent of their time actually engaging in their sport and the other 90 percent of their time training in order to perform. Their entire focus is designed around expanding, sustaining and renewing energy through precise routines and rituals in all areas—eating, sleeping, working out, mental preparation and visualization.
There could be a lesson in this for the rest of us hard-working underachievers. Perhaps it’s time we shifted our own approach to managing our lives. Although it seems counterintuitive, could we reduce stress and burnout by working less and spending more time ‘training’, with the result being increased energy which would lead to being more effective in the hours we spend working?  If we reduced our work hours, could we get more done?
Related Search: Simply More is an Executive Business Coach and Communication Consultant.

The Four Dimensions
There are four dimensions that consistently influence our energy levels—physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Typically, many of us push hard in one or two of these areas and not hard enough or completely ignore the others.
Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance. –Brian Tracy
Why not incorporate this ‘training’ into your life by addressing these four areas of your life to build up energy.
A lack of energy is what drags us all down, causing stress and lowering productivity.
For quick energy renewal, try these tips:

  • Stretch at your desk a couple of times
  • Practice relaxation breathing techniques
  • Get outside at least once a day
  • Sit in silence for a few moments each day
  • Laugh as much as possible
  • Be grateful for the big & small things
  • Express your gratitude
  • Reflect on your day: What was your rose?  What was your thorn? What can you do to make tomorrow even more spectacular?

You Can Be Happy Not Matter What by Richard Carlson

  • Stress can be a friend – by letting us know beforehand when we are headed away from happiness, away from clear thinking.


  • Your past, as it actually exists today, is nothing more than the thoughts you have about it.
  • We have choices; in fact, we have a series of “choice points” in any situation.

Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting by Lynn Grabhorn

  • The art of feeling good is not exactly something at which we are highly accomplished, so the goal is to learn how to do it on the spot.
  • Look for anything within the situation, or in your immediate surroundings, to appreciate or feel good about.

Related Search: Simply More is a Business Consultant in Calgary specializing in executive coaching, team facilitation, and leadership training

Growth doesn’t come without discomfort

Every year I look forward to the first signs of spring. It’s one of my favourite seasons. New buds and leaves materialize one day and growth and renewal begin to emerge all around us. A friend told me one day that some leaves grow from the edges – interesting.
In our personal and professional lives, times of growth and change also appear, invited or uninvited. Life, like the seasons, isn’t static and through choice or circumstance, we must adapt and change. But it isn’t always easy. Some of us struggle more than others with change; we focus on the negative and our shortcomings, worried that we can’t make the leap.
Related Search: Simply More is an Executive Business Coach and Communication Consultant.

Growth is often accompanied by discomfort and pain. We may not like where we’ve been, but we’re usually comfortable with it. A few years ago, I was going through a time of change, focused on the downside and feeling disempowered. The coach I was working with at the time compared how I was feeling to being on a slippery slope, one where I was setting myself up for failure. We explored my reaction to what was going and reframed how I was thinking about it.
Instead of focusing on the negative, I learned to choose a different perspective, one where I welcomed these ‘slippery slopes’ as confirmation I was moving out of my comfort zone and expanding. That experience opened the door for me to have many opportunities where I faced growth and change with open arms.
Challenge yourself
Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is your typical reaction when you are on a slippery slope?
  • What is the conversation with yourself that keeps you playing small?
  • What is something you hold as true about you–something that if you gave it up greatness could emerge?

And remember this quote, “If you believe you can or believe you can’t—you are right.” Anonymous.
Maintaining balance on the slippery slopes

  • Breathe – it is the quickest, fastest way to transform your inner state
  • Renew – your commitment to yourself and to your goal
  • Choose it – choose to have the experience, as it is
  • Appreciate – there is something in your life to be grateful for – be that!

Laugh – don’t take yourself too seriously.
Related Search: Simply More offers succession planning for businesses. How does one take on the challenge of succession planning? It takes a commitment to complete the process, a skilled trusted advisor and one conversation at a time!
Thinking Better – Tim Hurson
The Opposable Mind – Roger Martin
The Art of Possibility – Ben Zander
Book clips:
Thinking Better – Tim Hurson
The Art of Possibility – Ben Zander
The Art of Possibility

The Inevitability of Change

Many people fear change, although it’s been said change is the only constant in our world today. So wouldn’t it make sense to learn to embrace change, rather than to avoid it?
Perception is everything
ID-10064924How we filter information and how we name or label situations is what triggers our reactions. When something changes, we go through an emotional transition whether we realize it or not—if we perceive change as a threat, we’ll become fearful. If we perceive it as an opportunity, we’ll lean into it. Our thoughts and words are powerful. The way we think about a situation is how it’s going to show up for us.
Change is often disruptive, and for some, traumatic. However, it’s an important aspect of organizational life and essential to growth and success. Those who know how to anticipate change, catalyze change and manage change will find their roles more satisfying and their organizations more successful.
(Source: Managing Change and Transition – Richard Lueke, Harvard Business Essentials)
Related Search: Simply More is an Executive Business Coach and Communication Consultant.

Are you change-adept?
Those that accept change more easily typically have these characteristics or have incorporated these habits into their lives:

  1. Self-confidence—people who have confidence in their own abilities and strengths believe they have the skills to adapt and the ability to move from the old into the new. Make a list of your accomplishments and your strengths and weaknesses—often we focus on our failures, forgetting our successes. Having this list can help boost your self-confidence and give you a more accurate view of yourself.
  2. Positive Attitude—it’s a matter of perception. Change-adept people view change as positive. They look at it as an adventure rather than as something to be endured.
  3. Coping strategies—people who have developed healthy ways of dealing with life are less likely to be stressed by change. Problems and challenges are always going to appear; having a toolbox of strategies like meditation, exercise, deep breathing, talking to a close friend and exercise can help you cope.
  4. Balance—the key to facing problems and solving them. If you have a good balance between your work and your personal life, you’ll respond more calmly and positively to situations. Make time in your day for what feeds your soul.
  5. Creativity—we’re all creative in different ways. Instead of focusing on the problem, look for solutions.

Change checklist

  •  Have I accepted the fact that nonstop change is the unavoidable reality today?
  • Do I honestly think of the status quo as only a temporary resting place in a time of constant change?
  • Do I understand that the continual updating of skills is a requirement of today’s workplace?
  • Do I have enough information about global competition and how it is affecting my industry and profession?
  • Am I ready to explore new ways of seeing my life and my options?

(Source: Adapting to Change by Carol Kinsey Goman)
The role of leadership is to implement change; any business that is static will soon fall behind. Learning ways to lean into change and to help your team embrace the inevitable can add to your success and that of your company.
Related Search: Simply More offers succession planning for businesses. How does one take on the challenge of succession planning? It takes a commitment to complete the process, a skilled trusted advisor and one conversation at a time!