Success Markers

In the past I measured success by how hard I worked, how many hours, how many weekends, consecutive days, how stressed out I was, etc

I felt guilty if I suddenly found myself with time on my hands. What had I done wrong to not be busy!

That instinct still sticks with me but I'm learning to resist it. Now I see that not-busy-guilt as a welcome signal that I'm probably doing something right.

Being busy is addictive. That alone should be reason enough to question busy-ness.

On top of fighting the Busy addiction, evolution taught us to find the safe path and stick to it. We are born with a herd mentality that was once useful fending off lions and rival tribes. Unfortunately evolution is a lagging indicator. It's a very slow learner.

In my attempt to expedite evolution I have begun actively resisting these instincts. I now measure success around quality of engagements not quantity of activities. Committing fully to whatever I'm doing at that time. Moving freely between reflection and conversation, work and play. Sectioning off all the other stuff until its time comes back around.

I'm certainly not batting 1000. I'm still scattered and distracted more than I would like. I was pulled away from this post 3 times before finishing. But I do have an understanding of how to measure success.

I look for success markers around little things: not checking email at night, taking walks during the day, not multi-tasking, delegating, leaving work early, reading, having a focused conversation, finding time to play with my kids, writing blogs like this...

What about money? I also see money as a marker but like evolution it's often a lagging indicator of success. I believe that to some degree money will take care of itself if I can hit my day to day markers.

Not everyone measures success the same, I'm not implying that my definition should be yours. We all have our own markers. The better I get to know my markers the better I can make that measurement. What are your markers?