A New Year, A New Outlook: Success Versus Fulfillment

A critical doer keeps risk and failure in context with opportunity and success 

A critical doer has a servant spirit 

Here we are on New Year’s Eve…ready to celebrate 2014; resolutions locked and loaded, ready to fire at the first tick-tock of 2015.  Let me suggest that instead of making resolutions for 2015, starting the year with a new outlook may be a better approach.

Many of us have taken the bait to let our success, and sometimes even our sense of self-worth, be defined externally.  Some examples are attaining a particular rank or job title, a certain level of income, accumulation of material possessions, an award, a grade, or even the approval of others.  All of these examples are okay in and of themselves; they are legitimate considerations of a practical world.  The problem with success, when measured this way, is that even when we meet certain milestones it still leaves us feeling empty.

Instead of success in 2015, consider getting cozy with the word…fulfillment.  Where success often reflects an external value of your performance, fulfillment is an internal reflection of the value of your performance.  In a wonderful book called The Art of Significance, Dan Clark shows how internally motivated people are not only high achievers but meaningful achievers.  I agree with him and it’s true because successful people do something and measure its value by what comes back to them.  Someone driven by fulfillment does something and measures its value through its impact on others.

A critical doer earnestly believes that true fulfillment can’t be achieved unless the outcome includes making things better for others.  With this outlook that embraces key critical doer traits…you’re less likely to give up when faced with a challenge, feel satisfaction from understanding the “why” of your actions, embrace and take smart risks, take failure in stride…and be fulfilled knowing your efforts have value that no one can diminish.

When the sun rises to begin a new year tomorrow, what will your first choice be?  Will you continue to let external influences define the value of your efforts, or will you make the leap to becoming a critical doer that seeks seeking fulfillment in what you do?  If you make that choice…you’ll do more, be more, find fulfillment, and the impact will amaze you.  Forget the New Year’s resolution and make a New Year’s outlook; it’s what a critical doer would…do!

Happy New Year, and best wishes for lots of critical doing!



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Updated: January 1, 2015 — 1:46 pm