Are you failing or succeeding?

Do you want to be successful in life? What’s success?  To be successful, you first must define what it means for you. I know it’s easy for many of us to get caught up in how everything effects ourselves. But here are some other thoughts to consider. I believe it’s about making the best decisions for you and those around you. How do you feel daily, about yourself, personal relationships, life, work, and efforts?  Do you feel a peaceful confident feeling, or does it feel stressful emotions and fear?

I hope these questions help you while on your journey to the path of success. For me, I believe that this life isn’t about money it’s about wealth. Maybe you have heard people who are emotional and cry with joy, my cup is running over. Seldom are they talking about money. The person who is wealthy is one who believes in serving God, your family and others and having the resources to fulfill that need. It’s our personal relationships with these three elements that brings me true joy. True wealth will help these relationships to be more successful which will make you happy.

Let us not find ourselves as indecisive as Alice in Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In that story, she comes to a crossroads with two paths before her, each stretching onward but in opposite directions. She is confronted by the Cheshire cat, of whom Alice asks, ‘Which path shall I follow?’

“The cat answers: ‘that depends where you want to go. If you do not know where you want to go, it doesn’t matter which path you take.’ I have seen many who work hard their whole life trying to achieve the success they thought they wanted only to find they had climbed the ladder of success and found it was leaning against the wrong wall. When money has taken the place of relationships and you have sacrificed family and friends to impress those you really don’t care about, it can be an empty and hollow victory if you end up at the top alone. What do you want out of life?

“Unlike Alice, we must know where we want to go, and it does matter which way we go, for the path we follow in this life can lead to wealth and happiness or boredom and disappointment. Instead of mimicking Alice, we can use the suggestion by Albert Einstein on solving important questions and life decisions. He said: “If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on it, I would use the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than 5 minutes.”

Following that train of thought, here is a formula that I try to follow. When problems arise, it may be hard to think of them as opportunities, but it can provide a chance for growth. Take some time to ponder and reflect. What is the main question behind the situation that provides context to the problem. First, look within yourself, then write your initial thoughts and promptings on what to do. Second, take the question to your inner circle. These are those colleagues, friends or family members who are closest to you and might have similar goals as you. Second, take time to look at things from the outer circle. Sometimes using ideas from people who don’t think like you or someone who has a different expertise might help you see things in a different light. Then ponder all the advice and data always keeping in mind those relationships, family and friends that are most important to you and make the decision that feels best. Then, don’t procrastinate or second guess yourself. Things can and will get worse by doing nothing, you have disregarded all the time you’ve taken to consider and think through the question. Letting second thoughts or discouragement set in, the information gathered has become a waste of time and effort if you were going to nothing anyway. You will always accomplish more when you act on the ideas or decision that feel right and feel more productive knowing you took positive steps to lead your family and those you have influence on including yourself.