Success. Arguably the most sought after and least understood prize in America. Many hunger for it, and some never realize when they've got it. Most of us want to be successful human beings, mates, parents, workers, managers, homemakers, salespeople. To achieve it, many work their nails bloody logging long hours and packing more activity into already bloated schedules.
Yet it's startling to consider that while this effort may yield some of the usual trappings, many still don't feel successful. Underneath the satisfaction of good performance reviews, a bigger house, and committee memberships, many still feel that success is somewhere out there yet to be snared.
Our eyes are bleary from reading business-success tomes and taking notes at "achievement" seminars. Still, we're left asking the same questions: What makes us tick? What makes us sick? What drives us?
Looking for Success In All The Wrong Places
While the average American works more hours than ever, little of the effort actually helps us understand anything about ourselves. Crowded out by the often manic push for success, simple, reflective inquiry rarely hits anyone's radar screen.
Many of us are encouraged to train our attention outward, toward such linear concepts as the latest managerial trend, and toward consuming and producing on time, on trend, and in step. We're often so concerned with learning how to manage others -- employees, children, mates, even friends -- that we're left with little energy to manage ourselves.
Obsessed with mastering the world around us, we often fail to notice the unexplored world within. As French author Édouard Schuré writes, "Modern man seeks pleasure without happiness, happiness without knowledge, and knowledge without wisdom." Meanwhile, the search goes on for the secret to success, as if there were a single pill that would make all the difference.
Success Is Forever Within Reach
In my experience, there is no magic bullet. Success, however, is forever within reach, personal and professional growth evolving hand in hand through a winning life game plan. This "whole person" approach focuses on every aspect of our being to support a well-lived personal and professional life. Every aspect is a player and every player is necessary. No one need be left on the bench.
Recognizing that a win-lose dichotomy only fragments your mission, this winning life game plan redefines "winning" into a venture of cooperation and integration. Win-lose evolves into win-win. Everyone and everything benefits.
What Constitutes Success?
This integrated approach is a path to success, but what kind of "success" are we talking about? This life game plan isn't just about making more money, ascending the corporate ladder, or cramming in one more goal in the name of efficiency. That narrow view of what constitutes success stands between us and deeper satisfaction. With our eyes locked only on the prize, we forget that a winning life is a product of how we play the game.
Success, like a jewel, has many facets, and it can be easy to focus on two of the most eye-catching: money and career. Important? Sure, polishing those are part of the plan.
Turn the jewel in your hand, though, and take a look at all the other glints of well-rounded success: loving relationships, community consciousness, physical and psychological health, intellectual balance, spiritual connection -- to name just a few. An effective life plan polishes them all. While no single facet defines success, the sum reflects a life well-lived.
Excerpted by permission of Harmony, a division of
Random House, Inc. ©1999. All rights reserved.
No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted
without permission in writing from the publisher.
Winning in the Game of Life: Self-Coaching Secrets for Success
by Tom Gegax.
According to entrepreneur Tom Gegax, in the game of life, effective self-coaching is the first step to success that encompasses every aspect of life. Gegax should know; he thought he had it all until a three-ring wake-up call of divorce, cancer, and a business in crisis changed his game forever. Through a self-designed program of personal and professional evolution, Gegax recovered and now enjoys a life rich with family, friends, peak health, and a thriving company.
About The Author
Tom Gegax is the founder and head coach (CEO) of Tires Plus Stores, one of the nation's largest independent tire sellers, with 150 locations in nine Midwestern states and $160 million in total 1998 sales. In this unlikely business sector, Gegax has created an innovative corporate culture based on his self-coaching concepts, which include shiatsu massage, meditation, nutrition classes, and a feng shui-designed headquarters. He serves on the boards of Deepak Chopra's worldwide organization and EarthSave International, among others. For more information, visit http://www.gegax.com