Success vs. Fulfillment
The most common answer I hear when I ask clients what they want the outcomes from coaching to be is SUCCESS. They seek “success” in their personal life, and in business or career. During our discussions people conjure up many different definitions of success, from getting married to making a million dollars.
As the co-active process of coaching goes forward, I ask a different question: “What does fulfillment mean to you?” Often, there are long moments of silence, with the answers being: “What do you mean, I already told you” or, “Isn’t success fulfillment”?
Fulfillment is derived from the why you choose to do what you do, and not from the results of what you do. One can decide to become a carpenter and be told they are successful because they have a thriving business which creates a lavish lifestyle. The carpenter can believe he or she is successful because they achieved their monetary and business goals, but this does not necessarily mean that he or she is fulfilled.
Fulfillment can only happen if the reason chosen to become a carpenter such as the joy and passion of creating and making beautiful cabinets or furniture remains alive in one’s heart and spirit. Once we become disconnected from our original joy and purpose we can be successful but not fulfilled.
We need to remain consciously awake to make sure our original purpose and beliefs always remain alive and present. Once we lose sight of this, and focus just on the results we move from fulfillment to success.
The great news is many of the most successful people such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and the shoemaker next door live life both successful and fulfilled and so can you, as long as you are willing and courageous to remain alive and awake to your original purpose.