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Success is something that many of us desire. But success is subjective; it’s “in the eye of the beholder.” If you ask a hundred people to define success, you’re likely to get a hundred different answers.

My definition of success is fulfillment. The bonus is that a person who is fulfilled sleeps well at night and wakes up refreshed.

 

We watch successful people to see what they’re doing right. We devour books that promise to show us the way to success. We attend seminars looking for the key to success.

Success stems from our core—it’s internal. With the in mind, a three-question internal inventory can help us determine our best avenue for success.

What Do You Excel At?

Some of us are quick to name things that we’re not good at (math is my nemesis). But what are we good at? My superpower is listening. Not just to what people say, but even more importantly, to what they don’t say. I listen between the lines.

What are your strengths? What talents do you have in your toolbox? Knowing what they are and how to use them will help you find people and fields to align yourself with.

Keep in mind that it’s not enough to be good at something. To leverage it for success you have to love it, too. Without passion (fuel), it won’t take you anywhere.

What Do You Love To Do?

A person who loves what they do, and does what they love, is fortunate. Is fulfilled. Is successful.

Some people confuse “passion” with what they love to do. In my experience as a holistic health practitioner and transformational life coach, a person’s passion is the fuel that drives their purpose. And their purpose is what they excel at; what they love to do.

 

For some people, it’s a simple case of asking themselves, “What would my best self do?” Then they go and do that. For others, it’s not that easy.

Who Do You Want To Benefit From What You Do?

Rather than, “What’s in it for me?” A better question is, “How can I contribute? Who can I serve?”

When our focus is on service, an interesting thing takes place. I call it “The Boomerang Effect.”

We’re all connected. Because of this, everything we do or fail to do, has a ripple effect. It’s incredibly powerful in that the consequences don’t just extend outward. They travel back again, boomerang-style.

  • If I hurt you, I hurt myself, and in due course harm my children and grandchildren.
  • If I lie to you, I lie to myself, and in due course deceive my children and grandchildren.
  • If I steal from you, I steal from myself, and in due course take from my children, my grandchildren
  • And so on…

Likewise, when I do something that’s positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing, the same boomerang effect comes into play.

Our thoughts and actions don’t just affect us individually, they affect us collectively. The ramifications of what we think, say, and do aren’t just local in nature; the impact is global.

Successful people understand that each of us has an undeniable responsibility to ourself and the rest of the world to be our personal best on any given day.

 

Whether we’re a global citizen like the Dalai Lama or a local citizen, what we think, say, and do has far-reaching and lasting ramifications. Similar to putting a hand in wet cement, it leaves an impression long after we’ve left the scene. We exercise wisdom when we’re mindful of our influence on others.

“Never underestimate your influence on others.” —Laurie Buchanan

Laurie Buchanan, Ph.D.
A cross between Dr. Dolittle, Nanny McPhee, and a type-A Buddhist, Laurie Buchanan is an active listener, observer of details, payer of attention, reader and writer of books, kindness enthusiast, and an unabashed optimist. A former holistic health practitioner and transformational life coach, she holds a doctorate in holistic health with an emphasis in energy medicine. Her first two books—Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth, and The Business of Being: Soul Purpose In and Out of the Workplace, are nonfiction titles designed to motivate,