Contrary to popular belief, success is not just about becoming rich and famous. Chérie Carter-Scott, Ph.D., realizes that everyone has their own personal definition of success, whether it be to run a business, raise healthy, happy children, have more spare time, get good grades, or become President of the United States. In If Success Is a Game, These Are the Rules, Chérie addresses the issues at the heart of a meaningful and successful life. She helps you define what success means to you, and then tells you in ten simple rules how you can achieve it.
Chérie learned the rules of success firsthand: she built her management consulting firm to serve top clients around the world, including IBM and GTE. Her books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller If Life Is a Game, These Are the Rules, touch hundreds of thousands of readers. And despite a calendar that shuttles her through dozens of time zones annually, she keeps her family close and connected.
With rules as clear as "Self-trust is essential" and "Your actions affect your outcome," Chérie guides readers step-by-step through all the various challenges on the path to success. From finding your true calling to discovering the riches abundant in day-to-day routines, to recognizing opportunities and managing your resources, If Success Is a Game, These Are the Rules is both inspirational and practical. Chérie explains the importance of having a vision but also the importance of setting realistic goals. She provides tools to help you identify your gifts but also tools to help manage your time. She shows you how to believe in yourself but also how to cultivate relationships with others. Success can be a difficult and precarious journey, but once we understand what our goals are and the ways that both advances and setbacks can work for us, we can begin to move closer to what we want, and to grow as individuals.
Illuminated with motivational and personal stories, and written in Chérie's warm, engaging tone, If Success Is a Game, These Are the Rules is the perfect guide for your journey as you seek to fulfill all your dreams.
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EACH PERSON HAS THEIR OWN DEFINITION OF SUCCESS
There is no universal definition of "success." Everyone has their individual vision of what it means to be fulfilled.
Success is many things. It is both a concept and an experience, a moment as well as an evolution. It is the merging of your aspirations with reality, the weaving of your hopes and dreams with your daily tasks. It is simultaneously tangible and ephemeral, and gives the illusion of being universally quantifiable. Success is externally evaluated yet intrinsically experienced; it is both objective and subjective. The true essence of success, beneath the visible markers and goals, lies in your own personal sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.
What comes to mind for you when you think about "success"?
What are the images you see? What does it feel like in your bones to have succeeded? Do you imagine reaching the apex of your profession? Or do you imagine amassing great wealth? Does it mean seeing your face on the cover of national magazines or reading your name in Who's Who?
For some people success may be any one or all of these. For others it may be something entirely different, such as earning enough money to retire at fifty, or having their own art show in a gallery, or coaching their child's little league team to victory. To some success looks like grand achievement, to others it resembles daily rewards, and still others measure it as the accomplishment of an underlying life mission. It may mean being a good friend, or raising socially responsible children, or being a loving grandparent. For some the achievement looks like having lived ethically, honorably, or according to their values and conscience. For many finding or sustaining a romantic relationship or marriage is a goal. Overcoming a disability, hardship, challenge, or obstacle is the criteria for some, whereas breaking records—athletic, financial, historic, or scientific—is where fulfillment lies for others.
Since each person is an individual, comprised of his or her own visions and standards, each person defines success in his or her own way. My definition is probably not the same as yours, nor is yours exactly the same as that of other people you know. We are a constellation of individuals, each holding our own place in the cosmos and twinkling from within as a result of whatever gives us our own individual glow. The first basic rule of success, and perhaps the most important, is that there is no one universal definition of fulfillment. We each have our own, and every one is equally precious and worthy.
THE STANDARDS OF SUCCESS
The popular cultural definition of success in industrial nations is based primarily on three elements: power, money, and fame. It is assumed that if you are in possession of great abundance, have status or power, or are recognized as a celebrity, then you are, by society's definition, "successful." If you have even one of those three requirements, you qualify.
There is, however, one major problem with this definition: It is severely limited. It excludes a multitude of people who are successful in their own right and who define success by an entirely different set of standards. These are the people whose bank balances may not be especially noteworthy, who do not brandish significant authority, and who are not necessarily recognized when they walk down the street. Rather, these are the people who have realized goals and dreams that have been set from within rather than those dictated by societal norms.
Consider the school principal who started a middle school that teaches children values, self-esteem, and love of nature. Is creating an environment where children grow in healthy ways and develop awareness and values any less successful than the business tycoon who masterminds corporate buyouts?
Consider the person who volunteers at a local hospital to read to the elderly whose eyes can no longer perform the task. Is this person any less of a success than the professional ballplayer who scores the winning run as the most valuable player?
Think about the scientist who has dedicated her life to finding a cure for cancer. Is she considered a success only if she actually finds the cure? Do the hours and dedication she has put forth count only if the result is achieved? Is success measured only in the culmination, or is the commitment, the perseverance, and the pursuit valued as well?
What about the middle-age man who leaves his law practice to pursue his dream of carving and selling canoes? If his delight is in doing what makes him happy, is he any less prosperous than the celebrity who grosses $10 million per movie?
Success is amorphous, and like the other vast intangible—love—there is no universal means by which we can measure it. What it means for one person may not resonate for another. It may be the collective goal of many, but it ultimately has only one true judge. You, and only you, can assess your success, for it is you alone who determines what success really means for you.
THE DIFFERENT MODELS OF SUCCESS
Make sure you have—and preserve—your own set of eyes. —Laurie Beth Jones
Dana was in her thirties when she came to my workshop because she was experiencing what she called a "free-floating sense of dissatisfaction" with her job. She enjoyed the high-level position she held at a large computer company, but a small voice in her heart whispered to her that there was more. She had achieved each and every goal she had set before her, including promotions, raises, and even a much-coveted window office, yet she was not fulfilled.
As Dana talked, I picked up on phrases like "I should feel happy" and "I look successful but I feel like a failure." So I asked Dana point blank what would make her feel like a success. She paused for less than fifteen seconds before blurting out "being able to bring my dog to work."
It seems that Dana had always had a vision in her mind of being able to bring her beloved dog, Bodhi, with her to work. She had once visited a friend at her friend's small boutique advertising agency and was delighted to see the agency owner's schnauzer greeting clients at the door. To Dana, being able to bring her dog to work signified autonomy; it meant one of two things: Either she had climbed high enough on the corporate ladder that she was beyond policies, or she was running her own company where she could establish her own rules. Deciding between the two was not difficult for her, and Dana is now happily running her own web design business, with Bodhi snoozing contentedly under her desk.
Table of Contents
- Introduction ..... xv
- Rule One: Each Person Has Their Own Definition of Success ..... 1
- Rule Two: Wanting Success Is the First Step Toward Attaining It ..... 16
- Rule Three: Self-Trust Is Essential ..... 37
- Rule Four: Goals Are the Steeping-Stones on Your Path ..... 69
- Rule Five: Your Actions Affect Your Outcomes ..... 87
- Rule Six: Opportunities Will Be Presented ..... 105
- Rule Seven: Each Setback Provides Valuable Lessons ..... 132
- Rule Eight: Managing Your Resources Maximizes Your Efforts ..... 159
- Rule Nine: Every Level of Success Brings New Challenges ..... 196
- Rule Ten: Success Is a Process That Never Ends ..... 223
- Rule One: Each Person Has Their Own Definition of Success ..... 1