redefine success through your work and life
By Craig Nathanson - The Vocational Coach
How do you define success?
If you are like most people, your definition of success is
based on external factors. A nice house, perfect children, a
trophy wife or husband, nice vacations, lots of material things,
and of course, a great big salary.
What price will you pay for external success?
This is a question worth thinking about. Are you willing to
work 10, 15, or 25 years at a “just a job” that
you don’t really enjoy? Will all those material things
make a miserable work life worth it in the end? Will you even
have time to enjoy these things? Certainly, others in your family
will enjoy these things. Is that enough to make it worth YOU
spending all those years at the office doing meaningless work?
Will you work many years just so SOMEONE will approve
Again, many of us do this as well. Your mother-in-law is proud,
and your wife or husband brags about your job title at social
gatherings. Does this make it worth it?
There are tradeoffs
As a public speaker and author whose life mission is to help
people discover and do what they love, I can tell you there
are tradeoffs. People over 40 usually know, deep inside, that
their 20 years of working have met external society standards,
but in many cases have not met their internal need for joy in
As a college professor, I have taught thousands of students
who are very focused on grades and making lots of money, but
who have not been taught exactly what work FITS them best.
Both age groups, the over 40s and the students, are left confused,
scared, and lost.
How do you define success from the inside out?
First, you must have a vision of what you want. What work excites
you? Is there someone who you envy — someone who does
similar work? If you had 50 million dollars, what work would
you do right now?
Next, write down what you want. It is amazing what happens when
you write down what you want. In many ways, it forces you to
see your dream from a new perspective. Try it now for yourself.
Write down the work you really want to do. You might write something
“The work I really want to do is………and
the reason is………”
I have found, in my research and in my life, that when we know
the reasons WHY we want something, then we can start to move
Talk to others
Many people stop short of their dreams by not talking about
what they want. It almost doesn’t matter who you talk
to, as long as you discuss your plans with others. They will,
of course, offer their opinions; ignore them.
You are simply sharing what you have already decided to do.
Take small steps
Every success in life starts with a small step.
Let’s say you have a vision of yourself as a high school
history teacher (I always thought it would interesting to dress
up in the era of the period I was teaching to inspire my students).
You have written down that you plan to become a teacher because
this is something you enjoy, and because you believe you could
make a difference in the lives of your students.
Now you start to tell people your plans. By doing this, you
actually start to commit these plans to yourself, and it will
be hard to turn back. You call a local school, and set up a
meeting with a high school history teacher to find out exactly
what you have to do next. Then you call and have a college send
you enrollment papers to start a program to get the credentials
you need. Now there is no turning back.
Now measure your steps
Now that you have committed to your new life, you’ll
have to measure your steps. First, talk to your family, and
come up with a plan to accommodate the new life you are working
towards. You may have to adjust your standard of living, or
maybe just pay more attention to your spending.
You’ll have to measure your progress towards your goal,
and plan where you will focus next.
Learn to celebrate
You will be disappointed if you wait for a family member, or
anyone else, to reward your progress. The rewards will have
to come from you. I have learned that, when a person starts
to live a life of integrity, this is reward enough.
You no longer have to compare yourself to others. It no longer
matters who has the better house or car or spouse!!
The cycle starts over
As you make progress towards your new goals, you will continually
adjust your vision to the reality you seek.
How do you define success?
When you define success as a contest to keep up with the new
toys others have, you will always lose. There will always someone
new to compete with. But when you do the work you love, and
that FITS you, you will be happy and content inside, and just
grateful that you have found your own authentic path. This is
the best reward of all.
Now you will start to appreciate others without the need to
Do you want to start to live to your own standards?
Start to move towards doing the work you love. It will not
be easy, but it will be worth it!
As always, I’ll be cheering you on as you go- Craig Nathanson
Craig Nathanson is the author of P Is For Perfect: Your Perfect
Vocational Day and a coaching expert who works with people over
forty. Craig’s new E-book, Discover and live your passion
365 days a year is a workshop in a box designed to help busy
adults go insane with their work. Craig’s systematic approach,
the trademark "Ten P" process,’’ helps
people break free and move toward the work they love. Visit
Craig’s online community at http://www.thevocationalcoach.com
where you can take a class, get more ideas through Craig Nathanson’s
books and CD’s, get some private coaching over the phone
or read other stories of mid-life change and renewal.
Craig lives and works in Petaluma, California. His office is
located atP.O Box 2823, Petaluma Ca, 94953. You can reach him
at 707-775-4020 or at email@example.com.
Craig's Vocational Passion Newsletters are edited by Anita
Flegg at The Sharp Quill. The Sharp Quill -- www.sharpquill.com
-- specializes in writing and editing for small business. You
can see Anita's vocational story at http://www.thevocationalcoach.com/_vocational_community/_real_stories/story_anita.html
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