“This is it huh?” I thought to myself after I just finished the workday.  I was staring at a whiteboard that was no longer white but instead filled with red and black scribbles.

Even though I wasn’t the only one in the office, I felt alone.

“This is it huh?” I kept thinking to myself.   “This is what I worked so hard in school for?”.  I was grateful to have a job but, I was dumbfounded because I felt so empty inside……..  I did what I set out to do, graduate college and get a secure job.

I was living the american dream following the path to the american way.  Go to school, go to college graduate, get out, get a “secure job” and work for the rest of my life trying to “move up” in my career.

At the age of 23 I was making more than $15,000 over the average American household income.   

By the american household standards and societal standards, I was pretty damn successful.

I thought that I would feel powerful and successful but the exact opposite was true.  My life felt out of control and I felt weak.

I realize now exactly why

Instead of leading my life, I followed…… I all followed the system and did what I was programmed to do without question.  

I followed the system to the “American Way” of success which emphasizes money, power and status……… all external rewards.

I made the mistake of not stopping to think about what I really wanted.

Externally I had it all, internally I was empty.


After sitting in the room dumbfounded for 15 minutes, I removed myself.  I slowly dragged myself outside and plopped myself down on the curb.  I was having a midlife crisis just after leaving college!  

That day while I was sitting on the curb, I had to reevaluate what success really meant to me.

Below is a modified summary I dug up in this book. ( I recommend it to men and women)

Success is being able to live a fulfilling life in each of the following categories.


  1. The ability to acquire External Rewards & Resources.  These are awarded to you from someone else.  (Mostly associated with the term “success.”)
  • Money, Income, Wealth
  • Status, titles or awards based on merit.
  • Material Possessions


  1.  The ability to access Internal Rewards.  These internal resources cannot be acquired and must be cultivated.
  • Inner peace of mind
  • Positive self image
  • Alignment with morals, values and beliefs
  • Spiritual well being and sense of purpose


  1. Social Interaction,  we are social creatures.  We thrive in social environments.  
  • Attention
  • Affection
  • Fitting in or being part of a group
  • Love
  • Respect


  1.  Mental and Physical Health
  • Good health mentally and physically generally speaking
  • Attractiveness
  • Physically fit and/or in shape


  1.  Sexual Fulfillment
  • Interaction with people you are attracted to.


(Keep in mind the amount of fulfillment in each category various from person to person.)


Success is living life on your own terms and feeling good while doing it!

Power is being in control of your own life.


Reevalute what success and power mean to you.


-Is the doctor who wishes to see his children but can’t because he is a slave to his beeper actually “successful?”

-Is the engineer who makes 150,000$/ yr but hates his job and hates his life truly a “success?”

-Does the CEO of a billion dollar company have true power if he can’t take a day off from work to see his wife in the hospital?

-Redefine success and power on your own terms.


Redefine Success and Power on Your Own terms
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One thought on “Redefine Success and Power on Your Own terms

  • September 5, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    True success to me is earning the respect of my community and having fulfilling relationships with my family and friends. I love the list of categories (Internal Rewards, External Rewards) I never thought about success that way before.


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