On my ‘currently reading’ list is “Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder“ by Arianna Huffington. After just the first two chapters, I’m already feeling inspired and recognized. Our Lady of Huffpo begins with the growing movement to redefine what ‘success’ means, to grow beyond the traditional equation of success = wealth + power. She explains that folks today are seeking a Third Metric, built on four pillars: well-being, wisdom, wonder, and giving.
This prompted me to ask myself what success means to me. I decided that success is when who I am on the inside matches what I do on the outside. Essentially, a successful life is an authentic life. It seems that Arianna would agree, as my favorite part so far has been her very un-morbid discussion of eulogies:
Eulogies are, in fact, very Third Metric, [and] it is very telling what we don’t hear in eulogies. We almost never hear things like: ‘The crowning achievement of his life was when he made senior vice president.’ Or: ‘His PowerPoint slides were always meticulously prepared.’ Our eulogies are always about the other stuff: what we gave, how we connected, how much we meant to our family and friends, small kindnesses, lifelong passions, and the things that made us laugh.
YES. RIGHT ON. It’s made me consider what I’d like said at my (hopefully far away) eulogy. Figuring it out has been a great exercise, because now I have the final picture, and I can work my way back to the starting line.
“Friend, daughter, sister, wife and mentor – Katie guided those around her with love and joy. She traveled the world, stayed fit and active to the end, and was a great connector, constantly bringing people in her life to where they needed to be, and joining them to who they needed to know with love. She was committed to helping people work to identify and achieve their goals, and her smile and enthusiasm warmed our hearts.”
These seem like manageable goals. And the best part? I can start implementing them right now, and don’t have to wait until late in life. I can continually focus on being an authentic success to myself today. What would your eulogy say? How do you feel about writing it? What does success mean to you?