If you aim for success, you are probably going to miss it. Follow your inner compass instead!

Striving for success alone might bring you wealth, status, and power, but do not forget about fulfillment. In the long run, success without fulfillment will leave you feeling empty.

Therefore, the best thing to do is to forget about success, be true to yourself, and go for fulfillment. The unintended side effect may very well be success.

Align with your inner compass

Fulfillment is personal, and it is a journey, not a static state. Therefore, it is important to choose a career that feels meaningful and engaging and allows you to continuously grow and develop. 

The best way to discover what fulfillment means to you is to explore your highest values and your inspirational sense of purpose. Together, your values and purpose serve as an “inner compass” that helps you to stay on your individual path to fulfillment (and success) no matter what obstacles and temptations come in your way.

Intuitively, you probably already have a sense of your inner compass, but bringing it fully into your conscious awareness makes it much more powerful. Articulating and writing down your purpose and values is a good way to achieve that. Below, I will guide you through the process. But do not worry if you do not get it right the first time. Sometimes you just need to reflect on it for a while. So keep trying until you feel the fit.

Find your inspirational sense of purpose

Your purpose gives you a sense of being part of something that is bigger than yourself. In order to discover your purpose, start by writing down your thoughts about the following questions: 

  • What future would you like to see for the world?
  • What do you think the world needs?

Next, look at your notes and think about how you, through your work and career, can best contribute to the realization of your vision for the world? Remember that it should be something you are good at, something you love doing, and something that allows you to earn a living. When you find the answer, you will know your purpose.

Discover your highest values

Your values reflect what is most important to you. If you need some help and inspiration to find your topmost values, try this free Personal Values Assessment developed by the Barrett Values Centre. 

Your list of values might seem a bit abstract, so make each value more concrete by thinking about what this value looks like in action. How does it show up in your behavior on a daily basis, and how does it guide your choices and decisions?

Tweak your existing job

Knowing your inner compass gives you the clarity you need to make your current job more exciting. If something feels “off” in your current job, there is a good chance that it does not allow you to express your purpose and values to a satisfactory degree. 

Say, for instance, that one of your top values is “personal growth,” but your job has become dull and does not challenge you enough. In order to improve the situation, think about some concrete steps that you could take to express your value of personal growth more fully at work (e.g., asking your boss for more responsibilities or signing up for some further education).  

Land the perfect job

If you are in the process of looking for a new job, keep your purpose and values in mind when you evaluate potential job offers. 

Always hold your higher purpose and vision for the world in mind when you present yourself and talk about what you can offer. You do not actually need to state your purpose out loud. Simply knowing that you are on a mission for something bigger will give you strength and help you to get out of your own way. You will be less nervous and more self-confident, and your good intentions will shine through in everything you say.

In a job interview, make sure you ask questions that will help you to compare your personal values with the values of the organization and especially the people with whom you will be working the most closely. For instance, if one of your top values is “independence” and you know that you like to work with a certain degree of autonomy, you can ask questions that will help you ensure that your potential new boss is not a micromanager.

Be good, do good

Following your inner compass will help you to flourish and live a full life. Many studies, especially in the field of positive psychology, show that people who cultivate positive feelings and a sense of meaning and purpose in their lives are not just more successful, healthier, and live longer; they are also more engaged in the world and tend to do good for others. 

I encourage you to go out and be one of them!

This article was also published on iWorkinSport.com