Are We Seeking Success or Perfection?

Is success more a process than a destination?

I recently came across a couple of Ted Talks that I thought were worth sharing as they raise some good points.

  1. The value of continuous improvement.
  2. Integrating our deeper life goals with our professional goals.

Sarah Lewis gives a great Ted Talk on Embrace the Near Win. This is an excellent talk on the power of how the near miss can motivate us in the pursuit of mastery. Some of the notable quotes:

  • Mastery is in the reaching not the arriving. It’s in constantly closing that gap between where you are and where you want to be. Mastery is about sacrificing for your craft and not for the sake of crafting your career.
  • We thrive when we stay at our own leading edge.
  • The greater our proficiency, the more clear we might see that we don’t know all that we thought we did.
  • We thrive not when we have done it all, but when we still have more to do.

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David Brooks asks us – which are we living for: our resume virtues or our eulogy virtues?

Within each of us are two selves, suggests David Brooks in this meditative short talk: the self who craves success, who builds a résumé, and the self who seeks connection, community, love — the values that make for a great eulogy. (Joseph Soloveitchik has called these selves “Adam I” and “Adam II.”) Brooks asks: Can we balance these two selves?

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Helping clients to integrate professional and personal goals into a holistic approach to success while also helping them to refine their motivations and strategies for success are two of the elements I work with.