How Will I Know When I’ve Been Successful?

I’ve been working with this question for weeks. It’s a toughy. I know it’s an important question for me to answer because my tendency has been to stay too long. Lacking clarity on what I can contribute or achieve, I cling to the comfort of The Known beyond the point of diminishing returns, and ultimately leave in anger or dissatisfaction or disillusionment. It’s a lesson I’ve had the opportunity to learn many times, in relationships, in jobs, in life. If I don’t know what I came to do, I won’t know when I’ve completed it.

I’m enjoying really satisfying work right now. I have the privilege of coaching leaders full time. It’s creative. It pays well. I work with great people. There are moments I believe I witness real change. But it can’t last forever, can it?

In my relationship with God, I try very hard to show up for the assignments I’m given. My daily prayer is, “God, put me in front of those I can serve and show me how.” Within this agreement, anyone in front of me is someone I can serve, and it’s my job to stay attentive to God’s guidance. That’s how it is on my best days.

And there are days that I struggle for clarity, my perceptions skewed by scarcity-thinking, when I lose sight. Since I know these days come, I want to set myself some markers so I can find my way.

How will we know success when it comes? How will we know when the assignment is completed, and it’s time to move on?

There are External measures of success:

  • Financial goals
  • Performance goals
  • Lifestyle goals
  • Impacts of our effort

There are Internal measures of success:

  • Personal growth
  • Ease and flow
  • Joy

When seeking answers, we don’t know until we know, and then we know. I don’t know the answer yet. Until then, I will continue “moving in the direction of,” by doing more of what serves my mission as I understand it, and letting go of what doesn’t.

How will YOU know when you’ve been successful?

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