How do you define success? What does success look like to you? Have you ever really thought about it?
Is it a satisfying career, a big paycheck, a big house, all the toys? Or is it more family time, better health, or time to relax and enjoy your life?
Each of these is part of the package of success. After all, unless your idea of success includes lying, cheating, stealing, and generally being a bad human, there is no one correct definition for success.
I do believe success includes some essential elements. Whatever order you choose to place them in, or however you choose to emphasize one more than another, I believe you need to include these elements in your life to enjoy complete success.
The five elements are:
The Five F’s of Complete Success
Faith: We all need to believe in something greater than ourselves. Having faith in something greater than ourselves encourages us to reach out, to have hope when life seems hopeless and to recognize that we are but one part of a much larger whole. It also reminds us to build relationships and to serve one another. I believe that faith is one of the things that keeps us from spending too much time looking inward and reminds us to look outward.
How you express your faith and live your faith is, obviously, entirely up to you. I am a spiritual person so my faith is expressed and strengthened through spiritual worship and participation as part of a church community. Yours may be something entirely different–and that’s ok. Our individual expressions of faith are part of what makes us who we are.
Family: Family is important. As John Donne said, “No man is an island.” We need close interpersonal relationships in our lives. Whether you are part of a two parents-and-the-kids family, a single-parent-and-kids family, a couple-with-no-kids family, or your family takes some other form, it doesn’t matter. Your definition of family and your family structure are your business.
People who are members of strong, loving families generally enjoy better physical and mental health. Our family can also give us shared history–someone who has had many of the same experiences as we have. And that shared history helps bond us, and build resilient bonds that carry us through both good times and bad.
Fitness: Without health, wealth and success might mean little. Doing our best to enjoy our optimum level of health makes life more enjoyable. Few are blessed with perfect health, and there are some health challenges that cannot be completely overcome no matter how hard we work at it, no matter how hard we wish for it, or no matter how amazing our health providers are. But that doesn’t mean we can’t strive to be at our best, whatever that best may be. Self-care is essential to being able to achieve our goals and fully enjoy our lives.
Finance: Having your finances in order is a critical component of success. This doesn’t necessarily mean being wealthy, but it does mean having enough to meet your needs and care for yourself and your family. When your time is spent worrying about your finances, worrying about having enough, worrying about debts that feel overwhelming, it’s difficult to focus on anything else. Constantly worrying about finances takes both a physical and emotional toll on us. I don’t have the answers to all the financial challenges, and I have learned it’s often a juggling act. Putting your finances in order and doing what you can to ensure you can meet your needs will bring peace and eliminate much stress from your life.
Fulfillment: What brings you joy? What gives you purpose? Fulfillment is the finishing piece, that brings all the other F’s together. I believe fulfillment is essential. Figure out what it is you need to feel fulfilled in your life and pursue it. Figuring out how the first four F’s fit into your life will make this one easier.
I firmly believe that we were created and put on this earth to have joy. Not just fun, not just entertainment, but to find, create and have joy in our lives. And I believe that living our purpose is what will bring us the most joy and fulfillment.
So how do these five F’s play into becoming a complete success? As we set goals and strive for success in our lives, these five F’s are principles for us to consider in that goal setting. Having goals that will improve each of these areas of your life can enrich your entire life and help you to achieve the success you desire.