This hit me during a recent Free Agent Academy class. Members were talking about their motives for pursuing self-employment. People got so excited talking about having more time for family, being able to create something themselves and not being hindered by the confinements of traditional employment.
But when the topic of ‘being a success’ was brought up, it was a buzz kill. It just wasn’t something anyone cared about.
And it doesn’t seem to be modesty or humility or self-deprecation.
It made me think of my pro cycling days. Very few of the guys cared about the podium….standing on top and basking in the glory. Most treated it like an obligation that disrupted the true joy. We loved the racing. The cat and mouse game for 99 miles and gunning for the line at the end. It was a rush. A personal triumph. Then afterwards it’s the war stories and celebratory food and euphoria of toasted legs. The podium was uncomfortable and felt narcissistic.
For you, do you wake up in the morning and dream of being a superstar? Having fans who adore you, paparazzi at your door and to be on the front page of magazines and papers? To have articles written about what a “Great Success!” you are? A monument of YOU placed somewhere?
Doubtful. Me neither. Honestly I think most feel the same way about all the focus toward being a ‘Leader’. We desire to influence people in worthy endeavors, but being a ‘leader’ doesn’t motivate us.
Very few people desire or are comfortable with the spotlight. Many ‘successful’ people I know have zero desire to talk about their success or themselves. Why? They had success in an endeavor. That doesn’t make them a ‘success’ overall, and they know it. The whole ideal feels goofy and unauthentic.
What they LOVE to talk about is what they are doing as a result of the success. Projects they are working on, people they are serving, freedoms they are pursuing.
The benefits of a success. It’s about the opportunity a success provides, not about the personal status.
So if all the content on SUCCESS doesn’t speak to you, join the crowd. It sounds good, but few relate to it and take action on the content pushed out about it.
If this is you, here is permission to let it go and admit, “I don’t care to be a success.” Take a deep breath, release. Let it go. Feel the peace.
Then think about the realities for your life you DO want.
If you want to feel good and look good you’ll want to succeed at a long term exercise and nutritional regime. Not so you’ll end up on the front cover of Muscle & Fitness magazine as a ‘success’, but because you want to be able to run up a flight of stairs without having a heart attack, hoist your kids up on your shoulder without having to go to the chiropractor afterwards, look good to a romantic interest and not have to hold back stinky gas in public.
If you want time flexibility in your life, the chance to truly create and deliver something of your own making and create true wealth, you may want to succeed at a self-employment endeavor. Find a product or service you can provide to the marketplace. You may not care one iota if anyone knows of your vocational success. You just want to be the parent who goes on a field trip with your kids class or goes skiing on a Tuesday when the slopes open or who can stay at home for a week and care for your wife after a car wreck (my wife is slowly recovering, thanks for all the prayers).
You can be you, not seeking stardom. Finding joy and ‘success’ in the pleasures and fullness of a life lived purposefully and meaningfully. Your life. The one life you get. Not caring a bit to bust your arse to be viewed as a’ great success’. Just tasting the benefits that come from successfully accomplishing some core missions and roles in your life.
Here’s to you just being you. And experiencing the benefits of some successful ventures in your life.