So, are YOU feeling successful, significant or both?
The quote is from Darren Hardy, Editorial Director of SUCCESS magazine. SUCCESS magazine was founded in the 1890’s as a method of teaching positive thinking and life skills; yet over time it became more about status and tangible measures of wealth. Three years ago, SUCCESS made the decision to circle back on the path of being a personal-achievement magazine.
I love that, not only on a personal level but also because I know the magnitude of that decision from a business standpoint. Having worked in the magazine industry for many years, I understand how the culture and the responsibility to both readers and advertisers weigh into the decision to refocus a brand.
Back to the quote. Darren says that, “As a society, I think we often misunderstand the word success. Our society celebrates those who obtain fame, wealth, power and celebrity no matter the means – ethical or not – and we call them successful. Success is often equated to an achieved status, rather than to a measure of value or contribution.”
I love that too.
In this month’s editor’s letter, he asks whether his readers are living their life in pursuit of success or significance. I don’t mean to get all philosophical on you but it’s such a thought-provoking question, isn’t it?
Perhaps it caught my attention because I am struggling with that concept lately. When I was working in that magazine world I was completely fulfilled on levels of both significance and success. I loved every minute of it. Since leaving that life behind I have been seriously struggling internally with what (for me personally) defines both significance and success.
The definitions are different for everyone and I’d guess that they probably change depending on one’s place in life and the circumstances surrounding them. At least for me that has been the case and I suspect that I am not the only one whose definitions have needed to be rewritten. Have the definitions or success and significance changed over time for you?
Just thinking about my version of success and significance gives me knots in the pit of my stomach. Not because they are unattainable but because I do feel far away from them at the moment. It’s hard to go from having both to feeling neither successful nor significant. It’s uncomfortable and something that I have to work out for myself, by myself. I am not prone to pity parties nor am I my own personal cheerleader, so for now I am just going to acknowledge that I must work on it in order to be fulfilled again.
In the meantime, what about you? Do you live in pursuit of success or significance? What defines success and what defines significance for you?