Quick! What does success mean to you?
It’s not usually a question we can answer quickly. Most adults I’ve spoken with struggle to answer it at all. But what if your answer was as simple as “pigs and goats?”
I had a conversation with my grandson recently that made me realize how much white noise and external expectations adults have to wade through whenever we think about success. Kids usually don’t worry about those things, so we can learn a lot from conversations with them.
My son and my daughter-in-law are moving back to the farm after living in town for a while, and I was talking with my grandson about that recently.
He told me, “When we move back here, I’m getting pigs. And, or, I’m getting goats. I’m not sure, but I’m getting at least one. Maybe both!”
I chuckled about how definite his plan was, and I asked him why he wanted pigs, or maybe goats. He said, “That’s what’s going to make me happy!”
This eight-year-old kid has plainly defined what success was to him—not frogs, not cows, not guinea pigs, but pigs, or maybe goats. I love that! He’s figured out what it takes many adults years and years to learn—what will to make him happy and successful.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have that much clarity in your life? In business, we define success in any number of ways, but most of that’s white noise and doesn’t really touch on what will make you feel successful. That’s going to be different for each person, and will be as specific as pigs, or maybe goats.
When you think about what success would look like in your life, don’t be afraid to dig a little deeper. For me, success meant living on a farm. So I asked myself, what does success look like, living on a farm? And for me, success living on a farm meant taking care of animals on that farm. Knowing that, I can dig even deeper and think success looks like for me when I’m living on my farm taking care of animals.
Knowing what success means to you, and being specific about it, helps you cut through everyone else’s expectations. Because other people’s expectations won’t make you as happy as the success that’s most meaningful to you.