Are you currently on a path that will lead you to true success?

By Wandia Chiuri (Social Media Enterprise Architect,

It sounds like a paradox but nothing fails like success. Success can often lead to failure if you are not ready for it when it comes or fail to clearly define it so you recognize it when it arrives. According Robert Michael Fried, best selling author of Igniting Your True Purpose and Passion, “True success is not just getting what you want, it’s wanting what you get.”

Success and monetary achievement have always been an integral part of the American way of life. For professional women and entrepreneurs money is the yardstick of achievement.

But now more than ever, in these turbulent tiems, we need to take a giant step back and wonder if we haven’t defined success far too narrowly far too long. Ralph Waldo Emerson offers a broader, meaningful handle on success when he said, “To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded.”

True success involves more than monetary scorecard, striving for the corner office on living the labels of your career. True success always involves others beyond ourselves. Fried offers this perspective : “True success is achieving the delicate balance between making money and making meaning.” But achieving true success as defined by Emerson is no easy task.

Are you currently on a path that will lead you to true success? It all begins with discovering your true purpose in life. Fried offers these tips:

  1. Define what really matters most. Make a list of people, causes, activities, business interests, and dreams that will give you a better reason to get up in the morning filled with anticipation and excitement to conquer yet another day.
  2. Define your vision for a better world. Write down the causes or meaningful activities that will allow you to best serve others; perhaps it’s to protect and preserve our environment. You might have a political interest, or maybe you are concerned about childhood obesity, or the plight of homeless people in our society. Maybe you care about child abuse or the cure for cancer. It could be something as important as improving special education, or just making people laugh. It’s your vision, get in touch with it.
  3. See clearly with your heart. Get in touch with those things, causes, or activities that ignite and fuel your passion. Hone in on those things you know you do best. The things that give you unbridled joy. The things you do when time just seems to fly by.
  4. Work backwards. Sometimes, it’s easier to work backwards and eliminate those distractions that are clearly not aligned with your purpose and passion. Many of us get stuck doing things that are not in concert with our true calling or passion. We get stuck in a corner office and wonder, “How did I end up here?” Know what you don’t want to be, and move forward on the reason you were placed on this planet.
  5. Create your “most admired” list. Jot down those famous, or not so famous, people, and the reasons you admire them. You might admire Oprah Winfrey for the way she uplifts and motivates others, or Robert Redford for his work in encouraging creativity with his Sundance Foundation. You might admire your parents, or a family member who inspired you as a youth and instilled the core values you exemplify today. When you get in touch with what you admire about others, it can lead directly to your own path of purpose.
  6. Heed the call. List the short and long-range actions you need to take to realize your true calling. You might want to rethink your present job. You might want to start up or join a company that is more aligned with your true purpose and passion. The point is to take action and heed your true calling.
  7. Make meaning as well as money. One of the biggest challenges in life is to make meaning as well as money. It’s one great balancing act, but well worth the effort to align your purpose with your purse strings.

Defining your purpose focuses you on those things that really matter most to you. People who say they have found their purpose tend to be in better health and happier than those that say they haven’t found their role in life yet. There’s something powerful about finding your purpose, it just seems to give life a new meaning. It’s a lot easier to get out of bed in the morning and go to a job or cause that you feel like you were put here on earth for. Having a purpose ignites passion. Passion provides the fire in our belly that heads us toward our true calling. Remember the words of Robert Byrne: “the purpose of life is a life of purpose.”

Am you currently on a path that will lead you to your true purpose in life?

Editor’s note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below.

About the guest blogger: Wandia Chiuri is a digital, mobile and social media aficionado. She has designed a career that combines an avid interest in global emerging markets with enthusiasm for adventure, fascination with science and passion for people. With a track record of leadership, she has worked in the sales divisions of two Fortune 500 corporations, Medtronic Inc. and Eli Lilly and Company and serves on the boards of two non-profit organizations. Follow her on Twitter at @Wandia_Info.