RIDA logoThe path to personal strength...

~ Work / Life Success

What is Satisfying Success?

Work is an important domain of life and feelings of satisfaction, success and happiness are as important at work as they are in our personal lives.  Argyle (1989) and Sonhee (2002) in separate studies both conclude that most of us want to enjoy our work and that the more satisfaction we can derive from work:

  • the more happy we will be
  • the less time we will be absent from work
  • the higher our commitment to our employer
  • the less likelihood we will leave our jobs

In today’s world, the meaning of success comes in many forms and many definitions – it depends on what you are searching for in life and in work.  Often success and achievement become synonymous but there is a difference between these two concepts. 

Some people may be seen to be successful and have accumulated many achievements, but still feel like a failure – this is the crucial difference between achieving goals or outcomes and satisfying success, which is more about feeling satisfied all along the way. 

Eg. Greg Norman (Greg Normal often bemoans he has never won the top prize in golf yet he would be rated as an extraordinarily successful sportsman – but the question to ask, does he FEEL successful or is he SATISFIED with the level of success he has achieved.  Perhaps he focuses too much on the prize or the outcome, rather than on the ‘process’.

During our journey of achieving our goals – it will not always be guaranteed that we will FEEL successful or indeed happy.  Satisfying success then may be viewed as the achievement of WORTHY results often connected to an emotional satisfaction that transfers to all areas of our life leading to happy, balanced and fulfilling lives.    

Achievement or success happens when you have reached a certain goal, albeit career goal or personal goal.  Our achievements or successes are usually focused on the outcomes and our level of satisfaction is attached to the outcome.  If we fail to achieve our goal, we feel no satisfaction at all; indeed we feel like a failure and this leads to self-doubt and self-deprecation.

Satisfying success is different.  This is when we feel happy not only upon completion of a goal but during the process of achieving it.  In other words, success is a journey, not a destination.  We are not totally focused on the outcome; instead we feel happy and satisfied during the process provided the goal is the ‘right’ goal for us.  When we do reach our goal, we feel our self-worth increases and the results themselves are worthy and meaningful to us.  Earl Nightingale (author and radio commentator) defined success as, ‘the progressive realization of a worthwhile predetermined goal.’

This feeling of satisfying success that we experience keeps us balanced, happy, productive and motivated.

The characteristics of people who experience satisfying success are:

  • they enjoy all facets of a balanced, happy and satisfying life
  • they have a strong sense of who they are and live by their values
  • they understand their strengths and weaknesses
  • they take risks, learn from their failures and move on quickly
  • they are positive and optimistic
  • they are on track to reaching their OWN potential
  • they are emotionally connected to their goals – they derive meaning and purpose from their goals

If people are failing in their personal lives, then success on the work front may not be as fulfilling; similarly if people are not successful at work, their personal lives may suffer.  Depending on skills alone is not sustainable in the workplace of the future because people want balance;  they don’t want to burn out.  People want opportunities to:

  • Financially support their families and lifestyles
  • Develop professionally
  • Develop personally
  • Be promoted
  • Live a balanced life
  • Feel successful, satisfied and happy

It is of course possible to be highly successful in your career and at work and, and yet feel dissatisfied and unhappy with life in general.  

Feeling successful in all aspects of life leads to a balanced, purposeful and fulfilling life.

Elements of Satisfying Success

"Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work."

The keys to satisfying success are:

  • Passion – that which fires any creative person to have ambition or to have a vision or goals.  Passion helps us to be emotionally connected to our goals to maintain a healthy commitment to the organisation.
  • Taking risks – one cannot succeed without assessing and taking the risk to fail.  Being safe does not promote satisfying success or happiness
  • Validation and respect – these qualities are essential to have towards ourselves and others.  They are also the foundation for taking responsibility for our actions and for the decisions we make.
  • Talent and intention – if a person’s intention is sincere and they have some talent, they can experience satisfying success.
  • Satisfying success is about creating a balance between the challenge of work and the demands of living a quality life by spending our time and energy in the areas that are important to us.   

Management practices that provide the opportunities to experience satisfying success in the workplace create employees that are:

  • Balanced
  • Committed
  • Productive
  • Happy
  • Aligned to the goals of the organization

Some Important Statistics

"If you work just for money, you'll never make it. But if you love what you are doing, and always put the customer first, success will be yours."
- Ray Kroc
  1. The Labor Council of NSW recently conducted a survey titled ‘Quality of Working Life’ and the results emanate from 1100 workers being interviewed nationwide.
    The findings are:
    • One in five workers were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with:
      • Interest in their work
      • Career prospects
      • Trust for senior management
    • One in four were dissatisfied with balance between work and family
    • One in three were dissatisfied with level of stress
    "This survey presents a nation of people keen to work and be recognized for their labour, who have no systemic hostility to management, but wish to be treated with the respect they believe they deserve."

  2. The State of the Service Report 2004 (Aust. Public Service Commission) contains the following statistics:
    • Insurance premium rates for Workers Compensation nationwide increased 43% in two years, from 2002 to 2004.  This was due to:
      • higher numbers of compensation claims
      • higher numbers of psychological injury and occupational overuse claims
      • increase in costs associated with injured employees staying off work

  3. A recent study conducted in Australia by the Institutue for International Research found that:
    • Whilst the bottom line has increased for many organizations, people’s innate capacity to contribute has not increased
    • People who have proper balance between work and personal life feel more successful and a greater sense of well-being

  4. The OECD World Competitiveness Report says that Australian Managers are ineffectual and rank 19th out of 22 in management skills.

  5. The Federal Government Industry Task Force in Australia rated managers as the worst in the Asian Pacific Region.  They have high functional skills eg. Accounting, computing and engineering however they rated very low on people skills such as communication, people management and strategic planning.

To book a presentation or to invest in the program, please send an email by clicking here, Stating your name, name of your organisation and contact phone number. Thank you. top