A business coach asked me what success was... I had no idea.
Grant Murrell, a prominent coach in the business world, recently gave me some serious mentoring and asked me what success was to me. Of course, on the phone, I could define it by saying things like ‘freedom’ and ‘lakehouse’ and ‘financial independence’. Those words felt right to me. But I’m not sure...
It was 1998 when I joined the Navy, making only about 18,000 a year. I’d be on the ship in the middle of the ocean at 2 AM. Standing outside, there’s no possible way to describe how many stars there were...truly my most vivid and wonderful memories; all those nights navigating the ship.
We would pull in to a different country every two weeks, and I saw corners of the world some people save up their whole lives to visit for just a few days. I loved my friends dearly, and there was never anything ‘wrong’ in my life...but I distinctly remember thinking ‘ I can’t wait until my next assignment. It’s going to be so much better in a 'tactical combat unit.’
I got assigned to some great units and ended up working for Naval Expeditionary Combat Command. It was awesome. I became the Captain of a ‘sneaky’ assault craft that was designed to do some really cool stuff. I remember running late night missions and it was another tremendously peaceful (and perfect) moment; having a coffee on the upper deck and looking around at endless ocean in all directions. It was heaven. But somehow, every evening I would say to myself (and others) was about how much I couldn’t wait to retire and build my own company.
I retired 4 months ago. I published a book that hit the #1 bestseller list. My company has already gone international, and we’re expanding faster than I can keep up.
I continue to look forward to the moment it all comes to some kind of specific point that I haven't reached yet.
So many self help books will tell you that success is being happy with who you are, or what you have. I don’t think success is about achievements either; we have more rich people doing drugs and seeking treatment for depression than middle class people.
I think success might be realizing at THAT critical moment, that you’re going to miss this. You’re going to wish you had this moment back someday...and feeling grateful for that EXACT moment in time.
Your future self will be really upset if you don't take hold of these moments that you’ll miss in 10 years.
Success might be about how much you can be fascinated and thankful for exactly what’s happening now.
All those moments I ‘couldn’t wait’ for the next big thing to happen were probably the best moments of my entire life... and maybe...that’s success.
Just a thought.
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