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What does it mean to be successful?

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What does it mean to be successful?

Many people aspire to be successful without first defining what success means to them, and how to achieve it.

For some, inspirational quotes lead to a successful life.  To others, self-help books and listening to hours of podcasts are a pathway to success, and for others still, learning from the life experience of those around them provides the best roadmap.

But the definition of success varies from person to person, and there are often many factors that come into play when defining what success looks like for different people.

In this Helping Hands panel discussion, Amanda Rose, business mentor and entrepreneur; Jon Owen, CEO of Wayside Chapel; and Jenny Blok, Aged Care chaplain; talk about success, and show that one size does not fit all!

On the surface, success looks very different for each of the three panellists.

Amanda works with women in business. For Amanda, success is financial independence and running a business that aligns with personal values and that in some way helps others.

Jon works with some of the most marginalised people in Australia at Wayside Chapel, and success often means survival; getting through the day unscathed; being able to pay bills; and sometimes being able to simply smile.

Jenny says that for the people who she works with as an aged care chaplain, success is often identified as looking back on past achievements with fond memories, and finding purpose each and every day.

But do these three very different stations in life have a common theme we can all learn from when it comes to defining and measuring success?

Jon says, yes. And it comes down to a sense of meaning and purpose.

“Everyone is driven by a desire to contribute to others and to make the world a better place … I rarely meet someone who is only concerned about themselves … Even people who are sleeping rough are always caring for each other, they’re always contributing. It gives them hope and a sense of purpose.”

Jenny adds, “It’s always being able to fulfill our values.” She explains that no matter your age, situation or circumstance, success is always found through purpose and connection.

In business, Amanda says, the same foundation of knowing your core anchor of why you do what you do and who you’re doing it for is what will keep you focused and moving in the right direction.

“Everyone needs to know, what is your core purpose? Articulate that. You’ll feel contentment when you have it, and then have the relationships (in your life) that will help you achieve those goals.”

Jon concludes the conversation by encouraging us to consider one simple metric.

“When your head hits the pillow, do you fall asleep, or do you wake up saying, ‘There’s got to be more to life than this!’”



See the WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE SUCCESSFUL? discussion and the full catalogue of Helping Hands panels at Catch up on full episodes of Helping Hands on 9NOW.

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