How do you measure your own worth? What are the scales on your measuring stick? What is your definition of ‘success’?
When I was the managing partner of a law firm I found it easy to define success: Are the clients happy? Are the staff happy? Are we making money? And as I always believed that the happier the clients and staff were the more money we would make, it was easy to just consider profit as my measure of success.
I didn’t need to make money to spend it necessarily – although that is nice – but because it gave me a measure of that feeling of being successful and proud and that my life had meaning and was worthwhile. The more money I earned the stronger that feeling.
Now as I am about to retire as a law firm partner I have been thinking about how I am going to spend the extra time I will have. I probably don’t need any more money and yet I find I fear that if I earn less than before I will feel I am of less value. I can’t bear the idea of – in my words – just being a waste of the earth’s resources! It is critical to me that I feel I am contributing value to the world.
I am reminded of a conversation I had with one of my coaching clients where we defined his ‘measuring stick’. The scales against which he was going to measure success in his life. The fact is that you can have any definition of success that you want. We all seek different things: money; recognition; that feeling of making a difference; friendship; status; power, popularity, time for yourself…the list is endless.
So the time has come for me to redefine the scales on my own measuring stick. I remain as passionate as ever about my coaching and consultancy work and I know I want to continue this but I find I now also have some other desires; some time to read, some time to make some new friends, time to give back to my new community in Norfolk. No longer can money work as my only definition of success.
Have you thought about how you measure the success of your life? Is it time for a rethink?