Do you want to be your amazing self, share your unique talents with the world, get paid lots of money for it and be completely happy as a result? Then follow this path to success.
The woman sat across the expansive, wooden desk from me, preparing to ask her final interview question. “So Jenny,” she inquired, looking at me over the top rim of her glasses, “where do you see yourself in five years?”
As soon as she asked it, I fought the urge to cringe outwardly. Instead, I maintained a professional-like expression, but thought:
There it is…THE DREADED QUESTION.
Up until this point, the interview had gone well. I had no doubt a job offer would soon be forthcoming. But try as I might, I could not muster a reply to her question or continue to feign enthusiasm for the job position either.
As such, the prolonged silence in the room grew uncomfortable, even awkward. I fidgeted in my seat as my mind raced to come up with an acceptable answer.
More than anything—and sorely tempted to do so—I wanted to reply, “To be honest, Trudy, I don’t see myself in this job or in this career field at all. And if I’m still here in five years, I pray someone shoots me to end my misery.”
Yet since I was the ever consummate professional, that reply was not a viable option. In addition, I desperately needed the job with its well-paid salary and full benefits. The problem was I simply could not bring myself to answer the question the way I knew she wanted me to answer it.
That’s when I made the decision that changed my life. To hell with this job, I thought. Deep within me, I could no longer pursue something purely for money or for security—no matter how badly I needed it at the time.
Instead, I now required and desired something much, much more: Authentic success.
I had a vision for my life and this wasn’t it. So I politely thanked Trudy for her time and quickly exited the building…as a free woman.
Next, I went on to build both the career and the life I wanted for myself. In the process, I realized the first and most important secret to success is always to just be me—and for you, it’s to just be you.
After all, isn’t that what we all desire? Don’t we want to be our amazing selves, share our unique talents with the world, get paid lots of money for it and be completely happy as a result?
Yet, that’s not what usually happens is it?
Instead, whether we are an individual or an entrepreneur somehow or somewhere along our path to success we begin to master the subtle art of conformity. Despite our initial attempts to stand out from the crowd, to be unique or to blaze our own trail, we ultimately end up just trying to fit in.
Too often, in responding to everyone else’s needs or wants on the path to success, we tend to forget the vision we once had for our lives—a vision that is as individual and as amazing as we are.
As a result, over time this vision morphs and changes in such a way we no longer see ourselves in it or us in our own lives. Yet far too often we continue to push forward anyway.
Then, when our success feels empty or continues to remain elusive and our lives feel unfulfilled, we don’t realize it’s because we forgot to bring ourselves and our dreams to it. Which is why, if we want to create authentic success, we need to bring the focus back around to us.
To our goals. To our dreams. To the life—and lifestyle—we truly want to live.
Yet to do this, requires we first redefine success. Because the kind of success I’m talking about expands far beyond achievement, material stuff and money–although these are all amazing things that we should definitely have in abundance in our lives!
But success also means living our creative potential, experiencing vibrant health, creating awesome relationships, increased happiness and using our unique talents to change the world.
In a nutshell…success is being who we want to be and living the life we want to live.
In order to do that, we need to create or reconnect with a life vision. Only this time around, we don’t simply focus on identifying the “what we want”. We pinpoint and name the reason “why” we want it, too.
This way, we double-check ourselves to ensure none of our answers are a means to live up to an expectation or a “should”. Instead, our goal is to create a life vision that becomes the means by which we articulate and live out our newly, redefined image of success.
Last, but not least, we act in our own best interests, trusting fully that when we do—that when we are our own best selves—the world becomes a much better place for it.
To do so, though, requires all our choices and actions align with our life vision. That we step boldly and confidently into who we want to be and how we want to live—and which is exactly what we’ll do because, this time around, we are so much wiser.
Because now we know where the road leads when we don’t remain true to ourselves, to our goals, to our dreams or to our life vision—and we have no desire to end up there once again.
As a result, not only do we realize how powerful this secret to success is, we also discover something else. We discover how amazing we truly are and how incredibly successful our lives can be when we have the courage and commitment to honor our life vision and to just be ourselves.