What is success?
While I’m constantly revisiting and revising my definition of success, most of the time I believe you are successful if you move toward your potential, can satisfy your needs and live in alignment with your values without preventing others from also finding their success.
As tumultuous as our era is, I believe we are lucky here in the early days of the 21st Century to have such a wide array of theories, models and tools to help us understand how we each behave, interact and deal with life’s challenges. The greatest gift offered by these tools and theories is that they can lead to better self-management through greater self-awareness. Two of the most popular tools in personal and professional development are Carl Jung’s Psychological Type (Pearman Personality Integrator and the MBTI) and Emotional Intelligence (EQ-i). If success is defined by personal potential and values alignment, assessments like the EQ-i and the Pearman or MBTI can play pivotal roles.
Psychological Type asserts that we have innate cognitive styles—hard-wired tendencies for gathering data and making decisions. A good way of viewing success through this model is someone’s ability to be aware of their typological tendencies and live and work comfortably within them. For instance, if my Type includes a preference for decision making based on subjective consideration of values and human concerns (Feeling) as opposed to objective analysis of logic (Thinking), then success could be viewed as my ability to craft a life, a job, relationships—that allow me this circumstantial, interpersonally focused style without marginalizing or diminishing me. I have worked with many people with impressive titles, corner offices and full bank accounts who were not able—at work, at home or both—to be themselves and grow into their own personal preferences with security and support.
Emotional Intelligence offers many handles on our behavior and social interactions—as an example, let’s look at just two: Self-Regard and Stress Management. Each of these is a window into or an avenue to personal success. If I live a life in which I like myself and can feel buttressed in challenging times by self-esteem, I am successful. If I have or can develop a toolkit of habits and techniques to mitigate life’s stressors and allow me to stay focused and functional in the face of fear, I am successful. Life is littered with people who have achieved much or amassed great amounts who, in the end, were never at peace with themselves or comfortable within their own minds. Success, therefore—I believe, comes from growing well within your values and constructing a life that allows you develop and flower.
OKA is and has been a leader in the training and support of both Type and Emotional Intelligence. For a current list of our training and services–offered both online and in-person at our training center in Fairfax, Virginia–visit us online.