What is Success?

Is it a reality or a perception?

Is it about individual events, or a measure of the meaning of our life? Or both?

It turns out that this is a more complicated question than it appears.

On one hand, success is that state or condition of meeting a defined range of expectations. (Wikipedia). If you set a goal and obtain it, you experience success.

What if you set a goal and don’t obtain it? Is that failure and is failure the opposite of success? My experience has been that many of these failures are what lead to success. I often use the term, fail forward.

I think that success has more to do with our perception of our experiences than the experiences themselves.

For example, you are negotiating on behalf of a buyer client in a multiple offer situation and in the end, they don’t get the house. They are disappointed. If this was the one and only house they could ever be happy in, it’s a failure. If this is a learning opportunity about how to interact with the negotiation process for the next house, it’s a success.

This leads to the concept of competency. If the agent in the above example was highly skilled and drew out the goals of the client and negotiated successfully to those goals, regardless of the outcome, the experience would be successful. If on the other hand, the agent failed to understand the needs of the client, the results are far more likely to be unsuccessful.

I think success might be tied to our ability to truly know what we, (or our clients) want, whether that’s in life or in an individual event like a negotiation, gaining the skills to obtain that and having the determination, conviction and patience to endure the inevitable challenges along the way.

There is no room for pretence when it comes to obtaining success, for our clients or for ourselves.