What is the true measure of success?

In less than two weeks Coach GP is opening. It’s the culmination of a long and tough journey in learning, work and personal development (particularly over the past 5 years).

As I write I’m sitting looking at the ocean and contemplating what will be the measure of success of this new venture.

The first thing that comes to mind is money. And that’s fair. After all one of the core purposes of being in business is to gain an income.

And yet when I focus in on money and budgets and profits my chest constricts and I can hardly breathe.

And that’s because, I think, focusing on money as a marker of success is a diversion away from my true purpose here.

There are a million and one ways to make money. And if money was all I was after there are more lucrative ways than a one to one service like coaching. And probably ways that cost less money and time in education.

Focusing on money and amassing wealth seems almost antithetical to coaching.

My core focus is helping people build health and wellbeing and find meaning and purpose in their work and in their lives.

But the evidence is pursuing money does not bring wellbeing. And according to one of my heroes- Viktor Frankl- money is not meaningful in itself – only as a vehicle to help people realise their values. Furthermore, the truth is we can’t take money with us. It is a temporary thing. No matter how much we make or have we can always lose it through fate or misfortune.

So I don’t want to think this entire venture of mine, designed by its very nature to help people grow and thrive, inadvertently become the pursuit of money.

In this context, the value of money for me lies in allowing me to open my doors and cover my expenses – both educational and operational and help me provide for my family.

So, if not money, what then is the true measure of success?

Is it lives touched, people helped or the amount of light created as each person I coach gets closer to living meaningfully?

Possibly all of them – although they are hard to measure.

As I watch the ocean and listen to it’s ceaseless roar – I know the truth. Aside from the practicality of earning enough to keep the doors open, the true measure of success is knowing I wholeheartedly tried my best with each and every client.

  • Did I see them as a whole and utterly unique person?
  • Did I help them find their own meaning without preaching or promoting my own meaning?
  • Did I establish a human to human connection through which healing and growth occur?
  • Did I face my own vulnerabilities with courage and faith and appear to my clients, not as an ‘expert’ but as a human?
  • Did I give of my time and self with generosity of spirit?
  • Did I continue my learning with humility and have the courage to admit ‘I do not know’?
  • Did I have the courage to stay true to purpose?

These things only my heart will truly know. But unlike the transitoriness of money, these are the things cannot be lost – they are, as Viktor Frankl says, eternal.

Something that money just can’t buy.

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2 thoughts on “What is the true measure of success?

  1. This is a great reflection Jocelyn.
    Success is not measured in monetary terms. Part of my practice was talking to young adults whose life still was opening in front of them. I used to encourage them to dream a seemingly impossible dream about what they would want to do for an occupation, telling them that whatever they loved to do, there is someone who will pay you to do it, providing that you do it well enough. The next problem is how can you live on that little.
    Sometimes the result is that they actually made a lot. But money should not be the driving force.

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