Defining Success

Over the weekend, I was talking to one of my friends here in Guatemala, and we somehow found ourselves in a deep conversation about what makes a successful life. It was the type of conversation that I miss most about my housing set-up last year (yes, the mando), and the type of conversations I just miss having.

It started about with a question “Has oido de la intelligencia emocional?”  We were at Samuelito´s birthday party surrounded by little kids playing and screaming so it took me a while to figure out what he was saying. When he mentioned the book´s author, my mind immediately flashed by to Service Leadership and we spent the next hour talking about developing emotional intelligence and the differences between emotional intelligence and traditional “book smarts”.

Our conversation moved to Warren Buffett, to Colonel Sanders, to Bill Gates.  All wildly successful (and very rich) men.  So, are these men successful because they are rich? Or are they successful because they overcame unlikely circumstances and followed their dreams?

And then he said one of the most profound things I have heard in a while: success comes from the forward progression on your dreams.  Meaning first, success is relative to each individual depending on what they desire to do in their life.  Obviously, not everyone can be as rich as Bill Gates, but does that been they are less successful? I believe the answer is no. Personally, I am successful because I wanted to go abroad after college and help people through microfinance.

So the question follows, ¿what are your dreams, and are you moving forward to achieve them?  Your success is not based on what you have, but you do with what you have.

Just some thoughts on life from a Kiva Fellow.  Click here to see some new videos from the weekend on my youtube channel.

3 thoughts on “Defining Success

  1. First off, any conversation with both Sanders and Buffet has to be a good one
    And Secondly:
    Maybe the best advice/quote ever. I completely agree with you and your friend.
    Great post.

  2. Also, as a side note. Supposedly the Colonel´s wife said he could never make it selling fried chicken. When I heard this, all I could respond was that she must have never traveled to Central America haha

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