It’s essential that success doesn’t tell your brain that you’re all done and now life is an eternal vacation. We’ve been talking about the extra work, the hard push, and the hours of research and planning toward a specific goal. But that goal, no matter how incredible, is only a part of your life.
The ultimate finish line is to be successful in your accomplishments and in your life, and that means achieving personal balance and self-alignment. You want to see the road ahead as rich in future successes of all kinds, including emotional satisfaction, good relationships, devotion to family, personal time, spiritual fulfilment, and everything else that matters to you.
To achieve that, you will need to dedicate yourself to life-long self-discovery and to valuing interior influences over exterior influences.
You are different from the person who woke up one morning with that ambitious goal. Back then, you were not the same person who made it happen. Before just going on to the next thing, it’s time to reflect on what this success means to you now, not what you thought it would mean then.
Was your ambition truly something you wanted, or something, at least in part, that others convinced you to want? Was that ambition about being happy or just feeling less stress? About being healthy or just showing off?
Now is the time to determine the genuine nature of that ambition and how great the payoff is for you personally (which includes, of course, how much is affects those you love). This isn’t about being selfish. It’s about how much this goal has helped you to achieve true well-being.
Be careful. There is an inevitable sense of letdown that comes at the end of any project, no matter how successful. If you’ve been working toward your master’s degree for years—not to mention the years for the bachelor’s before that—even getting honor ribbons on your diploma won’t prevent the sensation that you’re now a little lost. Don’t plan to be ecstatic forever. Humans aren’t made that way.
The issue here is to determine how much this success has helped you move toward your personal desires. For example, now you have more money, but are you also doing more to help people you care about? You completed that marathon, but is your overall health better?
With the accomplishment of your goal, you are now in the optimum position to evaluate the payoff, which means checking your internal compass.
Here are three questions to consider:
- Question 1: How closely is this accomplishment aligned with who I really am?
- Question 2: If I do not have perfect alignment, what is missing? What can I learn from this experience?
- Question 3: As for my next goal, what needs to be shifted closer to my core values and desires?
This has nothing to do with self-doubt or second-guessing. You made it to your goal, and that’s fantastic. This is about leveraging that accomplishment to create the next best possible step.