Few things give us joy and satisfaction like meaningful success. And each of us defines “meaningful” differently. It may be publishing a book, finally finishing a tough workout without stopping, or kicking that pesky caffeine habit. It may also be finally figuring out where we can do the most good with our lives and finding true meaning through helping others.
The personality traits we develop in life help us tweak our approach and further understand what is meaningful to us and why. Four of those traits are self-awareness, humility, personal responsibility, and resilience.
Life is a journey of (hopefully) ever-increasing self-awareness. When we know who we are at deep levels – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually – we can live authentically and encourage others to do the same. We know when we’re out of alignment because we feel it. We may ignore those feelings, but over time, they’ll make themselves known through discouragement, depression, burnout, or other symptoms that can affect our health.
By increasing our self-awareness, we can figure out how to help ourselves and others. Though others may hear our words, they’ll really pay attention when we take action. Nothing is more inspiring than watching someone do their thing from a place of passion and enthusiasm.
Self-awareness is fantastic, but it doesn’t mean we’re allowed to fall into a place of selfishness and self-absorption. Practicing humility enables us to appreciate what we have and accept help from others, which is sometimes hard to do.
Humility allows for flow; it gives us a chance to receive from a place of gratitude. Being humble allows us to keep our ego in check and reminds us that we are worthy and equal to others. Meaningful success is rarely achieved alone, and humility reminds us that we are only part of a larger whole.
How we look at life and respond to challenges are our responsibilities. If you’re not reaching the levels of success you want, you may need to look at your desires, figure out if those align with your values, and then decide where you can begin taking more responsibility for those desires starting today.
Circumstances and situations change, but you are ultimately responsible for how you respond to them. How are you managing failure? How are you managing success? Where are you relying on others to do things that you should be doing?
Becoming personally responsible for your happiness and success is liberating and powerful; what one step can you take today that will bring more meaningful success into your life tomorrow?
To fail is to be human, but it is in this failure and how we respond to it that resilience is born. Life, as we know, does not go as planned. Sometimes, it really doesn’t go as planned. In these moments, we must not only sit with how we feel (which can be squirmy and nasty and ever so unpleasant) but also experience the feelings and learn from them. Stuffing down emotions such as anger, sadness, and grief only allows them to fester and worsen.
Resilience asks us to feel and honor our emotions and then accept and learn from them so we can move forward. Bouncing back may take time, but it allows us to begin again with more wisdom (and usually more resolve) to keep moving toward our goals.
Achieving success requires skills, knowledge, wisdom, and determination. It also requires that we discover what is meaningful to us and pursue it with passion. By learning to be self-aware, we can help ourselves and others by living our values. Humility teaches us that though we may know much, real success usually comes from collaboration with others. By taking personal responsibility for our success and happiness, we empower ourselves, and inspire others. Finally, resilience allows us to take all the lessons we’ve learned and emerge from challenges wiser and stronger than before.