Summit Thoughts

Evolving definition of success

Evolving definition of success

I am on a REFLECTIVE HIGH. Firstly, our project team was recently recognised as a best in class benchmark in one of the global sustainability reports. A week later, our team’s contribution to our company achieving the highest sustainability index in the world was also recognised. The last two years have been extremely challenging for our team at work but we always aimed to deliver with integrity. Secondly, my parents are currently on a holiday in Sydney and I am so happy to have them. Seeing how much they have aged though has been really confronting. I have come to appreciate how important it is to have an evolving definition of success and why it is crucial to equally focus on the process and the outcomes.

I had an honest chat with my mother one evening and told her that I have observed how much they have aged. She admitted that she also had to take a philosophical view on things. She had to consciously evolve what success meant because her capabilities have been changing. Thirty years ago, it meant providing for the needs of her kids and twenty years ago, it meant contributing more to her community. Ten years ago, it was surviving and beating cancer and today it is making sense of what life really is about as her physical strength slowly diminishes everyday. She first visited Sydney thirteen years ago and at that time walking 15km a day around the city was not an issue. This time on her third visit, we really have to plan their itinerary and give be selective of experiences they can be involved in.

It must be difficult to be stuck on a single definition of success as life moves on. Nothing is ever permanent – even our love for those close to us deepens or changes. This explains why focusing on the process is as important as the outcomes. When things were becoming uncertain and extremely challenging for our team, we focused on the moment and making the most of the opportunity we have been given. It was all we could do because we felt that many forces were working against us. When we just let go of things and people we could not control and focused on the present, we were able to open our minds to different ways of doing things. Little did we know that we were already delivering work and outcomes deemed as world class. Focusing on the moment allowed us to do this and even adopt multi-faceted and evolving definitions of success.

No two people are exactly the same and our ability to contribute to this beautiful planet is unique. Our unique capabilities help create unique success stories worthy of being celebrated. Success and happiness is everyone’s birthright.

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