Pursuing success can feel like shooting in a landscape of moving targets: Every time you hit one, five more pop up from another direction. We are under constant pressure to do more, get more, be more. But is that really what success is all about? Laura Nash and Howard Stevenson interviewed and surveyed hundreds of professionals to study the assumptions behind the idea of success. They then built a practical framework for a new way of thinking about success—a way that leads to personal and professional fulfillment instead of feelings of anxiety and stress.
The authors’ research uncovered four irreducible components of success: 1.- happiness: (feelings of pleasure or contentment about your life); 2.- achievement (accomplishments that compare favorably against similar goals others have strived for); 3.- significance (the sense that you’ve made a positive impact on people you care about); and 4.- legacy (a way to establish your values or accomplishments so as to help others find future success). Unless you hit on all four categories with regularity, any one win will fail to satisfy.
People who achieve lasting success, the authors learned, tend to rely on a kaleidoscope strategy to structure their aspirations and activities.
This article explains how to build your own kaleidoscope framework. The process can help you determine which tasks you should undertake to fulfill the different components of success and uncover areas where there are holes. It can also help you make better choices about what you spend your time on and the level of energy you put into each activity.
According to Nash and Stevenson, successful people who experience real satisfaction achieve it through the deliberate imposition of limits. Cultivating your sense of “just enough” can help you set reachable goals, tally up more true wins, and enjoy lasting.