Pursuing Success Over Achievements
It was a while back, but I was listening to an audiobook and it was discussing the tangible aspects of achievements. There are many awards given out today to adults, kids, the Hollywood crowd, Nashville crowd, sports figures, etc. There seem to be more and more awards, shows, and opportunities to receive a tangible award to honor the achievements of many different avenues in life. We also discuss the insight into the kid’s sports world and the effects of the previous generation of “everyone gets a trophy” aftermath. As we as parents are venturing down this road of kid’s sports, as I routinely talk on, we continue to learn, be a sponge of watching others, and gain wisdom and insight into how we move forward with our children in this even addictive environment. The challenges are great and when you are very competitive like my wife and me, you can easily get caught up in the most negative aspects of real positive growth potential for nurturing the fabric of the DNA of our children. You may be asking how does this all tie in together? For the human race, especially the Xer and Boomer, generations and older, celebrating “wins” was something we weren’t very good at. It was almost even frowned upon to a certain degree. We were taught to accept the trophy or award and keep moving forward. We were and are terrible in celebrating “wins”, but we have learned that we need to get better at celebrating “wins” which often means giving out recognition, which can then turn into the person on the receiving end of the recognition striving for even more greatness because recognition feels good. Achievements are a wonderful opportunity to be honored or honor someone, but are we looking to achieve an award, status, or position, or are we truly looking for success, and there is a difference. There is a difference in lasting effect of either one. As Simon Sinek writes about, achievements serve as milestones to show we are on the right path. Achievements are tangible goals, while success in an intangible feeling. Achievements often leave people feeling empty while success creates fulfillment. Success is the intangible feeling that comes when you are clear in the pursuit of why you want something. When we are clear in our pursuit in our personal mission of our “why”, relentless in our daily actions and habits, the opportunity to enjoy an intangible feeling of success is so much greater. Having tangible goals to create success are a non-negotiable habit if you want to achieve greatness, but we must be keenly aware of our personal or organization’s mission as to “why” we are setting them and performing to achieve them. Achieving our intangible mission of our “why” will give greater fulfillment and longer-term success than achieving our tangible goals that can lead to some award. You can interview well-seasoned actors and performers as they reflect back on their life and “achievements”, and ask them what gave them a greater feeling of success. I promise you it wasn’t winning the best singer of the year award or best actor of the year award. I promise you their best feeling of success came with either 1 of 3 things – 1. Watching their audiences come alive with passion for the moment of entertainment. 2. Being generous to people to help change other lives in various philanthropy actions. 3. Or helping their own family enjoy the lasting legacy of their success. It wasn’t receiving an Oscar! There are so many people deserving of so many awards. And there are so many non-famous people doing great things who deserve an Emmy or a Golden Globe more so than any other singer or actor. Don’t get me wrong, I believe awards for achievement are and can be a great honor for so many so deserving. I have personally been honored with a number of humbling awards. But, while the achievement of awards can drive success, no tangible goal of achievement of any award or position gives a lasting sustainable feeling of success. What does is a clear pursuit of your personal mission of “why” you do what you do every day will give the greatest intangible feeling of success you will ever have! So I ask, why do you do what you do every day? Is it for an award or position? Or is it for service to others with a clear understanding of your “why”?! We must help our kids understand their “why” and make absolutely sure we don’t place the value in their very existence based on wins or awards in a sport.