“Success is about more than simple resilience. It’s about using that downward momentum to people ourselves in the opposite direction. It’s about capitalizing on setbacks and adversity to become even happier, even more motivated, and even more successful.” – Shawn Achor
Years ago when I accepted my first job working in sales, I walked into the position with the intention of making tons of money and “making it big”. At the time, I firmly believed that the key to happiness lay in my pay cheque every two weeks. In order to increase my pay cheque, I read book after book on sales, so that I could become the best sales rep in the company. Within a year, I achieved that goal and earned an award for being in the top ranks of over 800 reps for my company. I had brought in just under half a million dollars in new business and had earned more money in a year than I had in the years before.
I thought that the praise, money and awards would make me happy because I believed that the definition of success was soley a result of how much money I had in my bank account. The truth was, even though I was riding on the success of my first year in sales, I was miserable. I hated the job, the people and the expectation that you lived and died by the numbers on your sales report. That got me thinking about what success really meant for me.
My definition of success today has changed drastically from what it was even a few years ago. Although professional success is important to me, a more holistic approach to my goals and life actually help me perform better.
For example, I’m definitely not the first person into the office in the morning. But these days that’s not important to me. Just because somebody puts more time in, doesn’t mean that their productivity or value to their company is any more than the next person. For me, I like to have the time to meditate, exercise and eat a healthy breakfast before I head on to work. This is important to me because this falls within my definition of success.