In life, we use the term ‘success’ to determine our goals and our ultimate ambition. However, success is such an open-ended word that we never really know what success means. Often, we will try and look at what success means to other people, but this is no good because they might have other goals and a different journey. Eventually, we end up questioning our own ability and our own worth because there is no universal way to measure progress.
‘Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid’ - Albert Einstein
If we look at this fantastic quote, we can see that the metric that we use to judge success is just as important as the path itself. Along the way, we all have to make sacrifices and show perseverance, but the path to success could actually be a level of consistency. If you actually want to experience a level of success, consistency has to be the key factor otherwise, it won’t be worth your effort. If you keep doing something half-heartedly, you aren't going to see the results that you desire.
To stay on a sustainable path, you need to reevaluate your metric of success. As long as you know your own metric of success, you will know whether you are on the right path or not at all times. Whether it is all of the hours you have spent in the gym or all of the meetings you have attended in your office, you need to know that it is all pointing to something. If you apply the correct metric, you will instantly validate everything you have done up until that point. If your metric is too narrow, you simply won’t see the value of your own work and your vision of success becomes blurry just as we discussed at the beginning.
For example, narrow metrics would include ‘no room for error’ or ‘always getting 100% results’. When you then miss a workout or make a mistake at work, this will weigh on you more than it should. Rather than using the opportunity to grow, you will start to give up and reassess your aims. In truth, this is because your metric of success is wrong not because you are a failure or ‘can’t do it’.
Instead, you need to realize that success is ongoing and explains your desire to become more whilst failure is simply quitting or giving up. If you use these boundaries, you will only ever fail when you give up. If you take a day off from your goals or make a mistake, you are still learning and resting in order to ‘become more’. As the boundaries are a little broad, there is more room to be consistent. Life is a journey, and you contribute to your success every day; whilst failure might slow you down, it doesn’t have to stop you.