Alignment, potential and self-awarenessQ: How do you define success?
You are successful if you live into your potential, can satisfy your needs and live in alignment with your values. We are lucky here in the early days of the 21st century to have such a wide array of theories, models and tools to help us understand how we each behave, interact and deal with life's challenges.
The greatest gift offered by these tools and theories is that they can lead to better self-management through greater self-awareness. Two of the most popular tools in personal and professional development are the MBTI® assessment based on Carl Jung's theory of Psychological Type and the EQ-i® based on Reuven Bar-On's Emotional Intelligence model. If success is defined by issues of personal potential and alignment, assessments such as the EQ-i® and the MBTI® can play pivotal roles.
Psychological type asserts that we have innate cognitive styles -- hard-wired means of gathering information and making decisions. A good way of viewing success through this model is the ability to be aware of one's typological tendencies and live and work comfortably within them.
For instance, if my type includes a preference for decision- making based on subjective consideration of values and human concerns (Feeling) as opposed to objective analysis of logic (Thinking), then success could be viewed as my ability to craft a life, a job, relationships -- that allow me this circumstantial, interpersonally focused style without marginalizing or diminishing me. I have worked with many people with impressive titles, corner offices and bank accounts who were not able -- at work, at home or both -- to be themselves and grow into their own personal preferences with security and support.
Emotional Intelligence offers many handles on our behavior and social interactions -- as an example, let's look at just two: self-regard and stress management. Each of these is a window into, or an avenue to, personal success. If I live a life in which I like myself and can feel buttressed in challenging times by self-esteem, I am successful. If I have or can develop a toolkit of habits and techniques to mitigate life's stressors and allow me to stay focused and functional in the face of fear, I am successful.
Life is littered with people who have achieved much or amassed great amounts who in the end were never at peace with themselves or comfortable within their own minds. Success, therefore -- I believe -- comes from growing well within your values and constructing a life that allows you develop and flower.
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