Get Set For Success
What's success? The concept of success has been a struggle for me from an early age. It annoys me when people attach success to winning. Whether, the '72 Canada v. Soviet Union Summit Series (a hockey tournament, in case you wondered) - my first real memory of participating in a collective yearning for success defined by winning, my own struggle to win 1st place in an essay contest, music festival or oratory competition - I just realized I was a nerd of sorts, OR listening to a beloved professor share his agonizing reflections on a life he deemed a failure, my annoyance or struggle with these confusing experiences, shuffled and jumbled my definition.
In part, as a result of these early experiences, I have felt compelled to observe and consider the connection between winning & success for most of my life. I desperately wanted to reject winning as a defining aspect BECAUSE that meant there were always losers and even at a young age that didn't work for me. Why can't my success contribute to yours and yours to others and so on...?
The pursuit of excellence became the first re-brand for what success meant. When aiming for excellence, which I learned was relative, I struggled with an ever changing finish line. Although I consoled myself; it was a worthy pursuit. It continues to influence my thinking. What does excellence mean to you? Worth some reflection?
Then my focus turned to continuous improvement. This was less daunting maybe, while still a worthy pursuit, a bit more self-compassionate perhaps. What do I mean by this? Well, in my head anyway, excellence, like winning, was a blunt instrument leaving less room to grow or make mistakes. Continuous improvement meant no turning back or slowing down but it did suggest forward movement.
Somewhere between my focus on continuous improvement and my more recent focus on progress, I stumbled onto what have become the three legs of my goal setting stool which I realize incorporates a bit of both.
- Learning Goals - What learning or additional perspectives will feed my natural curiosity while serving my clients and prospective clients this year?
- Performance Goals - On what do I need to focus in the coming year so I can make more of an impact on those I serve in my work? OR how can I generate more excellence in what I am currently doing?
- Fulfillment Goals - What can I add or where do I need to focus this year that will inspire me and move me closer to living my mission and fulfilling my purpose?
Instead of setting goals solely in the traditional or