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Are you a Hedgehog or a Fox?
Conscious Embodiment and Presence
Conscious Incompetence
Emotional Intelligence (book review)
Happiness at Work (book review)
"I turned my face for a moment ..."
In Praise of Ignorance
Limitation Celebration
Marhsall Goldsmith's Dream
On Valuing
Is Your Diary Out Of Control?
The One Thing You Need to Know
The Paradox of Choice
Parallel Worlds
Playing to our Strengths
Reflections on Being 50
Strengths, Weaknesses and Learned Behaviours
Telling Our Story
Time Management
What really makes people happy?
What is Success?
20 Things Leaders Need to Stop Doing!

What is Success?

A useful coaching question to ask when trying to help someone take a wider perspective on their life is "What would you like your epitaph to be?". A similar question was asked by the market research organisation NOP on behalf of the magazine Resurgence. In February, a balanced sample of 1000 UK adults were asked: "Which, if any, of the following types of people would you most like to be remembered as?" and evoked the following responses:

  • A kind person 36%
  • A good parent 32%
  • Someone who made the world a better place 17%
  • Intelligent or creative 9%
  • Others/Don't know 4%
  • A wealthy and successful business person 2%
The results point out the great divide between popular myths of success and our underlying, long term ambitions. Despite living in a society where business and material success is portrayed as the guiding principle, 85% of the respondents want to be remembered for what they give to each other, their children and the world.

It is, in part, this discrepancy between what society values and what individuals value that is driving the growth of the mentoring and coaching, even in the business sector. People are seeking ways to live and work which not only provide for their material needs but also for their need to do something that has a deeper meaning, and that is based on who they are as people rather than on what they have achieved.

Copyright © 2013. Dr M H Munro Turner. All rights reserved