Personal Success: What’s Really at the “Top?”

personal success

The other day I went running in the hills. It was early morning and still overcast, yet by the time I made it to the top there were already several people there – meditating, playing guitar, stretching and chatting. There was no view but I recognized that innate desire to make the top of the hill a goal, a personal success, after all, I was there too.

While a destination gives the journey purpose, “the top” is really a state of mind. For me, it’s about setting an intention and being content in the outcome, whatever it is. Approaching our paths with an open, beginner’s mind, enables us to change direction if we want and to experience the moment. In the case of my run, the gray day was cool enough for the rabbits to be out, and the flowers appeared even brighter against the colorless hillside.

Along the way to the top, we also pick up knowledge and ways of being. Here are three powerful thoughts that guide me along this journey.

Seize the moment. 

Time is finite and not to be taken lightly. While all moments are important, I feel more power in the morning. The first time I heard this put into words was by Colin Cowie, a talented event planner and lifestyle force. The image of him making calls (yes, phone calls … another power action) from his desk early in the morning has always stayed with me, especially since one of them was to Oprah Winfrey which was an important moment in his journey.

Be mindful.

Put one step in front of another until the job is done. Of course this is obvious in the context of a journey, but off the mountain, in our daily lives, we are easily distracted by … well, everything! Action lists are great, but when they get too long they can be overwhelming. In order to focus, I hone the list down to three to five to be completed in a tight time frame, such as a morning. That way I can truly be mindful of each action because, for me the goal, or “the top,” is personal satisfaction in everything I do.

Strive to be of value.

Strive not to be a success, but rather be of value. The words of Albert Einstein ring clear and true in this era of self-promotion. There are many people creating great change in the world without seeking the limelight. They show up with the intention to be valuable. Show up. Do what needs to be done, even if it isn’t your responsibility. Do the job you want. Do the job that is needed. Do it with heart. Do it because it’s the right thing to do. Do it because you being valuable makes you more powerful than any temporary success you might achieve.

While we can see the top of the proverbial mountain, perhaps we climb it not just “because it’s there,” but with the intention to gain knowledge, beauty and happiness. That way, when we do reach our destination, we will already have achieved so much more. And maybe, just maybe, that achievement comes with an infinity pool and a stunning view!

personal success

personal success

personal success

Photos courtesy of Contemporist

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