How Success News Can Provide Encouragement

During times of great economic turmoil, when people are forced to question their life choices, success stories can provide valuable encouragement. They show us that you can be successful even when your world is shaken and that it is possible to achieve your dreams.

A good definition of success includes being healthy and happy, having a positive impact on others, and being financially stable, with the ability to invest in philanthropic activities or to simply enjoy life without working every day. But the most important measure of success is how you feel about yourself. And a feeling of fulfillment isn’t easy to quantify.

In the wake of the global turmoil caused by the September 11 attacks, many high achievers did some soul-searching about what it meant to be successful. They discovered that they weren’t quite able to satisfy their own internal need for self-worth through a traditional career trajectory, and they weren’t sure how they would be able to enjoy a fulfilling personal life if they continued on the same path.

The problems that these individuals faced were not unique. Throughout the years, surveys of workplace dissatisfaction have consistently shown that the overwhelming majority of workers are not satisfied with their current job. Many struggle to reconcile their career goals with their personal goals and needs, resulting in high levels of stress and frustration, even among the best-educated and most dedicated employees.

One reason these struggles continue is that the world of work has become a lot more complicated. People have a lot more options than ever before, and they are often conflicted about what they want to accomplish in their lives. The desire to be the best soccer mom in town (in the meaning category) may compete with the need to maximize market share and improve profit margins at work (in the achievement category).

The three examples above all illustrate a key aspect of the problem. These individuals, like many others, need a comprehensive framework for thinking about their careers and the goals they want to pursue. They need a way to identify and sort their conflicting desires so they can go after them sequentially in a proportionate mix. The success story format provides a perfect vehicle for doing that. A good success story highlights an important theme and describes how it was implemented successfully using ]po[ processes. It also discusses alternatives to the theme that were considered but rejected.