What does it mean to define heart-centered success in your own terms with work and your whole life? You don't necessarily need to become famous or rich. Most importantly, you don't need to give up anything that's really important to you. Clarifying what heart-centered success means to you is about getting to know who you really are and what really motivates you NOW. The drive to find work and a way of life that deeply satisfies the needs of a person's spirit can be so powerful that it blows right through old messages from teachers, parents, peers, and the media that say, "you can't" or ''that's not what you're trained to do" or "you won't be able to make a living at that."
If you’re feeling burned out or limited at work, it’s likely you’re seeing your professional future and the picture of your life based only on your past and present experience, training, education, or family expectations. As Barbara Sher in her book on strategic change-making, Wishcraft, asks: “Were you given real help and encouragement in finding out what you wanted to do-- and how to do it?”
If not-- and most people I’ve worked with have not been-- then your first step is:
Begin to envision an authentic career and life as an integrated process based on what motivates and inspires you in the present moment!
If you're reading this post, you may be exploring what it means to feel successful
in your career or the quality of your life as a whole— with relationships, creativity,
fitness, travel, spirituality, and whatever else is important to you. Perhaps there's something intangible that you long for to bring a glow to all parts of your life. This is what I call the "heart-centered" quality of success. Your can feel it as energy, vitality, and passion. Essentially, it's about understanding what it is that calls you.
As I wrote in my book, Success with Soul, "Vitality is our energy and passion to live fully, to discover our purpose, to awaken to the gifts we have to offer and not just get by— on the job, in our relationships with others, in every activity we undertake."
When I coach people, that's where we're going— towards where their energy
vibrates at a high level and towards where they are genuinely attracted. At this energetic level, you're able to connect with what is most meaningful to you— and to your capacity to let this open and flourish.
Nicole, is a coach in her mid-50s with a strong business background, hardworking and creative. She began coaching with me because she felt stuck professionally. She believed that to go forward, she needed to create a bigger business involving associates, trainings, and informational products. Each time she took a step in that direction, however, she could feel herself losing energy and interest.
Her dream was to go back to living in the country on a good-sized piece of land, but she insisted that she needed to make more money before she could afford to do this. However, she was clearly longing to take action in a new way.
So I asked her if she’d be willing to look at whatever she enjoyed doing, then brainstorm ideas for career directions for each possibility. Soon it became clear that everything she loved doing was in the outdoors. With “Hiking,” she considered becoming a professional photographer. “Kayaking” led her to the prospect of offering kayaking tours.
But when she offered “Chickens” as what she loved, then I really heard the passion in her voice, while she felt the upsurge in her energy! From this place of aliveness, she envisioned starting her own chicken farm of free-range chickens, finding someone with land with whom to partner (thus reducing her need for instant capital).
In fact, she was passionate about wanting to rid the world of chicken factory farms that torture these animals to force them to produce. By educating people about the humane advantages of backyard chicken farms, she also saw she could have more opportunities to be outdoors helping people make this happen.
She even stretched her vision to consulting with Hollywood film professionals about setting up “boutique farms” in their spacious backyards. With her passion, knowledge, business and coaching skills, she saw clearly how she could help them design and operate aesthetic, flourishing, self-sustaining chicken environments.
Most importantly, Nicole felt supported in embracing a new work and life direction that made her feel alive and ready to work at achieving her dream.
So if feeling heart-centered success in your work and your whole life sounds like the direction you'd like to take, ask yourself—
What is heart-centered success to me?
How do I want to contribute from my heart?
What support do I need to lift my energy to a higher level to find purpose and aliveness in my work and my life?