Redefining your career, business or personal success in a chaotic world
2009 brought a world to its knees. Financial giants and normal folk were thrown into the swirling chaotic waters of economic turmoil. But chaos offers an exquisite opportunity for growth and discovery of new models of success.
Just as the big banks have to restructure and adhere to new regulations in order to be successful, the rest of the world (yours truly included) have to adapt to the changing times, and perhaps discover and define new success models. Here at WorkLife Nation I’m devoting Mondays to tapping into that “success” wisdom from others. And a wisdom-filled tome from Seth Godin seems like a great way to start. More on that in just a bit.
In a 24/7 world, all entities, organizations, businesses, and workers are forced to look in the mirror and contemplate what success is. What does success look like to you, your gut? Not just on paper, but in terms of morality, mission, personal values and for some commitment to community; something much bigger than themselves. Success is not stationary anymore, it’s fluid. The career ladder is now a lattice, and business is now global with no cultural boundaries.
This week, I stumbled upon what I’ll call a blueprint for a contemplative personal journey toward success, courtesy of marketing guru and blogger Seth Godin. His free e-book, What Matters Now includes wisdom from great thought leaders on positive changes and ideas toward making 2010 a year of success that matters, working and thinking in a way that perhaps makes a difference. What I prefer to call – “vocation.”
Godin taps the knowledge of more than 60 visionarys on everything from the ten-fold benefits of generosity to the ripple effects of education to the consequences of “forever.” You can read about that last one yourself as Godin has permitted the world to embed this document. He also encouraged the world to add to it, so here’s my contribution.
A “vocation” is in its simplest definition means, “a calling.” The word is derived from the Latin word, vocare, meaning “to call.” It’s usage prior to the 16th century according to Wikipedia, is that calling by God to an individual to enter the priesthood or clergy.
But Martin Luther and John Calvin adopted the word in a more secular fashion or broader sense to mean commitment to ones community or a larger or greater purpose; “the sake of the greater common good.” Not just a divine calling to serve God, but as “a summons or strong inclination to a particular state or course of action,” as defined by Merriam-Webster.
The later definition is what resonates in what I’ve termed in former posts as our “career chaos economy.” The upheaval has offered an opportunity for us to redefine success or restructure how we thrive by our OWN personal standards. Thriving in business or our careers has taken on new meaning in a culture of change.
Thriving is no longer just associated with the pinnacle of financial success, it’s the ability to progress or evolve in other ways. For example, a better work life fit, more family time, more down time, more passionate work, creating the work you love while making a profit and making a difference.
Achieving “vocation’ is not an overnight journey. It’s an inner journey filled with winding roads of contemplation. It’s the wisdom we’ve acquired through our accomplishments and the lessons we’ve learned from those dark nights of the soul. We might reflect on past failures and on what didn’t work; but most importantly we try to remember what truly brings us joy in the moment. Simply as Godin has stated What Matters Now.