From yesterday: What we "want" is not the only factor in formulating a vision for success and meaning in life- we need to find a way to take into account our friends, families, and communities, their needs, and their desires, in order for the pursuit of success to add meaning to our lives. Click here to get caught up.
The workplace is merely one aspect of life. It can never offer complete meaning because no single thing can. If our view of success is limited to the workplace then we will live isolated lives. I do not mean isolation strictly in terms of people or community (as we discussed yesterday)- but the general experience of disconnectedness that results from such a singularly focused pursuit. The primary disconnect is internal- it is the realization that our lives are somehow less than they otherwise might be. The consequence is that we will live as disconnected people, disconnected from our family, friends, and communities. We will not be whole. As a result we will struggle to find lasting hope, joy, and meaning.
I'm of the opinion (as always, I could be wrong) that becoming a successful person is the result of living as a unified, whole person. Take, for instance, the opposite: Steve Jobs. Jobs relentlessly pursued one thing with his life and, in a traditional sense, was highly successful. He had wealth and prestige by the truckload. And, yet, by all accounts, he was a miserable sod who burned every relational bridge in his life.
I'm not here to judge Steve Jobs, but he serves as a perfect object lesson for my point: if we're too narrowly focused on one thing in life we will not live up to our calling to become as human as we possibly can. And so, we must continue to reframe success.