These days I was thinking about the much used and hackneyed concept of success. Nowadays the sale of this idea and the formulas to achieve it abound everywhere, and practically all of them touch the same key linked to the generation of wealth, financial freedom and a life of luxury and recognition.
In my work as a coach I have had the good fortune to accompany many people who have achieved these social criteria for success, and it would surprise many people to learn how sad and empty these people feel about their lives. Also, in my role as an entrepreneur I have gone through this search for material well-being as a way to achieve certain peace of mind, and I have serious doubts that it is the best or the most efficient way.
This new success that is promoted in so many places has had enormous impacts on our current society. I am not only talking about individualism, where my personal success often seems to be in opposition to my environment or to other people’s achievements. But this has also permeated the way we work, thinking in personal and not collective achievements, in the way we build friendships and even families are formed, where everyone rows for their own side (so it should be no surprise that more than 60% of marriages end up divorcing), this success without a compass is probably the main factor that prevents us from achieving what we really want.
I have seen and experienced firsthand how for someone a patrimony can be more important than their own family, being willing to do whatever it takes to get a few extra bucks, even if it means irreparable damage to their own children. But nowadays it seems that it doesn’t matter, it is justified as part of personal freedoms, “my objectives are the only thing that matters”, and so we continue building or destroying a society that has lost its compass.
So, what do we do, we go out to look for that compass that really makes sense, that compass that speaks of purpose and not of success, that speaks of mission and not of achievements, that compass that invites us to gain meaning even though this may often mean losing in that field that everyone else applauds and understands as synonymous with achievements.
It becomes vital and urgent that we return to focus on what really makes life matter, on affections and sincere relationships, on projects that contribute to our internal growth and also to those around us, on giving and being generous, on learning that it is not about what we can have, but what we can add to make things better than before our existence, that the moments we treasure in our minds and hearts are worth much more than the things we accumulate in a house or a cellar. If we recalibrate our compass, surely there will be many things that we will stop doing at this very moment, to begin to put our energy and capabilities to what makes us feel that each day has been worth the effort and dedication.