Two factors to measure success

September 24 2017

How do you measure your success, is is the numbers in your bank account, your title at the firm, the number of clients you land in a month? In this moment, do you consider yourself a failure? Or would you describe yourself as a success?

I have written about how we define and measure success and have asked monks and entrepreneurs and academics what they think. So much of our unhappiness stems from comparison and self-worth — I don’t have a house like she does, look at the wife he has, she was promoted so quickly, he’s making six-figures and I’m stuck at five.

It is easier to see the missing pieces. Thoughts about what we do not posses overtake contemplations about what we do. It takes concentration to remember the places from which you came, the lessons learned along the way, the growth that took years and months to master. Ignore the numbers, as Howard Schultz (Starbucks) realized. Happiness is a fluctuating bar.

I’d like to propose a new method of measuring success. Two factors, actually:

1.) Progress.
2.) Satisfaction.

Progress can be measured by revisiting your starting point. Have you moved forward? Has your company/relationship/personal trait improved by some degree?

Satisfaction is felt and requires some honesty on your part. Do you have a sense of accomplishment or reward at the end of the day? Can you look in the mirror with contentment? With pride?

Progress and/or satisfaction.

If you can claim one of these two characteristics, you are a success. If you have both progress AND satisfaction, you are in an excellent position. Keep going.

Are you making a difference to one person?
Are you doing work honestly and with passion?
Are you focused on integrity and vision?
Are you pleased with your efforts?
Are you able to show up day in and day out?

The root of unhappiness lies in your definition of success. It’s worth revisiting what and who you think is successful and why. Maybe you are, too.