The difference between achievement and success
Have you ever taken a moment to think about these two terms – achievement and success? There is a difference between achievement and success and the danger comes about when we see the two concepts as one and the same.
I see many clients who are perfectionists and for them, constant achievement equals success. The immense pressure this places upon them creates anxiety and does lead to depression in some cases. This occurs where clients fail to keep up their strenuous and unrealistic goals to achieve. Sadly, people too hung up and obsessed with achievement only see themselves as worthy and valuable when they are achieving – making money, closing business deals etc They completely miss the point when it comes to looking at their inner characteristics such as tolerance, kindness, being a good partner, father and so on…this gets lost in the obsessive need to achieve.
Achievement does not necessarily mean success. Success can mean different things to different people. Those that are rigid in their thinking and believe success is the act of achieving are more unhappy with themselves and their lives than those who see success in many other areas as well. For well balanced individuals – success is seen as a wider concept. Achievement is only a small element of success. Success can also involve carving out a life that works well for you – whether that’s living on a hut on a beach or just being true to yourself – this type of success will be longer lasting and more fulfilling than a life where success is narrowly defined as achieving. Achievement works on the premise that you must DO something but success doesn’t always involve doing or acting. For me, relaxing and taking time out from a busy schedule is success – working against how we are brainwashed to keep doing and achieving. Sometimes, resisting this is a good thing!
Be careful of your interpretation of achievement and success. Allow yourself to see success in many areas of life, that don’t necessarily have to include achievement.
Tips for creating goals
- Small decisions can have a great impact that help you work towards your goal. Remember that your goals are your road maps and your direction to success in life. Without them, you can lose your way. Although you can always retrace your steps, you might not have the time, opportunity, energy or resources you once had when you could have made your goals happen one by one.
- Listen to people who you respect and ask for their advice. Remember, you don’t have to like the person to respect them.
- Being active in life is most effective. Try visualizing the outcome at a time in the future. It will become apparent that to set definite time in the future is obtainable. That would be the “when”. The “How” comes with gathering information about resources and education. We often have to correct our course but at the same time keep a focus on our vision or dream. To began a journey starts with a step but it is just as important to know where you want to go as well as to have a specific plan about how you will get there. The more specific the steps, the better. Keep in mind that when you start the journey you will most likely encounter objections and self doubt. That is why developing the habit of the daily motivational pep talk can help you to stay focused.
- Make your goals SMART. S = specific, M = measurable, A = achievable, R = realistic, T = time bound
- Examples: Specific: lose weight
Measurable: 5 kilograms
Achievable = expecting to lose 10 kilos in one week is not achievable
R = realistic – lose 5 kilos over next month instead of losing 5 kilos in one week
T = time bound..lose 5 kilos over one month
As specific and with an easy way to see whether you have achieved the goal.
Goals, short term and long term help to give us purpose in life. Always have something to work towards, it can stave off depression and help you to feel more focused in life. Make sure the goals are personal to you and not goals that others wish you to achieve.
Focus on what you can control, forget the rest
Follow this “Serenity Prayer” – it’s full of wisdom:
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.”
It’s not events that upset you, it’s your beliefs about them
Most of the bad feelings you have are caused by irrational beliefs. Challenge your belief system regularly – there is always a rational alternative thought available.
Learn acceptance, stop resisting ‘what is’
The greatest source of misery comes from the gap between how life is and how expect it to be. Learning to accept how life is doesn’t mean being passive and/or giving up. It means we acknowledge the problem and work with it rather than against it.
Act ‘as if’
Think of someone you admire – a family member, friend or celebrity. Imagine how they would act in certain situations (especially those that cause you anxiety). Changing behaviour automatically shifts our thinking and often, acting confident can help us to feel confident as well.
Build structure into your life
A basic structure helps keep order in life. An underlying framework is always a good place from where to go forward and deal with the world. Have a morning and evening routine, make some things a fundamental activity that you do regularly – such as exercise, a healthy meal etc
Goals help to add meaning and purpose to life and we all ned to have some sort of direction in life. Create short and long term goals that are as specific and measurable as positive. Eg: I will lose 5 pounds/kilo by the end of the month.
It’s human default mode to look at all that is wrong in life – make an effort to look for what is good in your life and do this daily. when we focus on all the good, e automatically feel happier. Gratitude and appreciation are powerful emotions that can lift a mood instantly.
Do you have any other tips for happiness or contentment? Send a message and let us know!