21 Jan 2010

Discover Your Personal Model of Success in 10 minutes

Let’s have a look at what success means for you and what do you REALLY want?
Once you’ve identified what type of success you really want and what underling values fuel your motivation you than also can identify how your money spending behaviours tie in with the overall picture and hence it should become easier to adjust them if you need.

Your definition of success is likely to fall into one of the following three categories:

Material and Measurable.

All those thing that you can touch and see. Something like a job title, a house, a car. These things will be important to you because they reflect on what you have achieved in life.

Immaterial but Measurable.

This category encompasses signs of success that build upon recognition of others. Being invited to speak in front of a large audience, become a mentor, being used as a sounding board. None of it will necessarily be converted into money but when you receive these awards it make you feel good about what you do, it motivates you to continue.

Intangible and Invisible.

Being part of an organisation you always admired, being able to have a job that represents your values, allows you to be who you are as a person; being able to create a life whereby work is an integral part of it but not the most important one.

Until you are clear about what success model works for you can’t come up with really compelling goals that will motivate you. Goals are the output not the starting point.

Often all we know at the outset of defining the next goal is that we are currently dissatisfied with what is here and now. Goals that we really can connect with must be based on our values.

Here is a quick exercise that helps you identify your values and how they translate into your work.
Imagine you are participating in an auction. You can bid for a range of things and your equivalent of money equals your age times 100. Select items you would bid for and assign to each of them how much you would pay for them.
  • The money to buy the ... of your dreams (fill in the gap)
  • The guarantee to make a difference through work
  • Fame for being ... (fill the gap)
  • A happy family life (however you define family)
  • Staying healthy into old age
  • Knowledge that you never will be without work
  • Contribution to a wider society
  • Do something that will live on after you
  • Being connected with your spirituality (however you describe this for you)
  • Change to do something you thought you would never be able to do and succeed in it
  • Getting recognition based on your expertise in ... (fill the gap)
  • Sporting success
  • Take a risk in your life through ... (fill the gap)
  • Establishing your own enterprise
  • Freedom from the constrains of an organisation
  • Use your skills to help others
  • Head up an organisation
  • To advance knowledge in your area
  • To do ... (fill the gap) better than your peers
  • To have a balanced life
In the real auction you won’t be able to get all the items you want but in this particular exercises you can have all the items you decide to bid for.
The amount you assign to each of the items indicates how important they are to you and how much you are prepared to risk for them.
Now look at what you have identified as important to you and think into which values you could translate these selected items.

Example: you’ve bid a lot for the house/car of your dreams, so may be the underlying value for you is something like “I feel successful when I can see what it buys” or “it is only worth doing something if it is financially rewarding” But it is only YOU who knows what the connected value is!
It is also important to see how much you’ve bid for each item – if you put all your "money" on one item you can be sure that the underlying value will be driving most of your decisions and will be the driving force in how you approach work, finances and anything of importance in your life.

Let’s now translate your items into values and your attitude to work. Create a table with three columns and following headings:
  • what would I bid for in an auction;
  • what it means for me (value);
  • how this translates into work.
You can extend the table by any other are of your life you want to investigate. Include "financial behaviuore" to note down how you spend/save money in those all important areas. In our example from above this column may have something like "I am spending money when I need to feel succesful"

Give it a Go and tell me, what you came up with!

image by wonderlane
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