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@Rich - I like to remind myself about the expansive story especially when I've been immersed in the minutiae necessary to execute on a project for too long. My take is that balancing thinking with doing can be hard and that both are pillars to feeling successful.

@Marc - indeed, when you forget to look at the clock and feel energized after a full day of work, you are in flow. The reason why I started the #kaizenblog chat on Twitter was to remind us that the process of doing the right thing is important -- hence kaizen. Living someone else's story does cause disconnects at many levels.

@Elli - and possibly situational? Is it also the story we tell ourselves about who we are? Although I did try the one about the very tall woman with black hair... it didn't work :) Stories become more expansive when shared. Very good point!

The more I coach small business owners, the more apparent it becomes that the definition of success is subjective. The idea of story comes up a lot-stories of how family or friends define success and stories about what we truly want. When we become afraid of our capacity to bring the story to life, we make the story smaller. The challenge is to find someone who will listen to our story and become so excited they want to know how it ends. Stories have more life when they are shared!

Nice post! I think success is when you don't know whether you're working or playing. If your life and/or your work are a good fit with your soul, then it all feels like play...and to me, that's success. Not every day can be a party...so there will always be days filled with untimely chaos like you wrote about. Keeping a big picture perspective is important.

I agree with Rich that the definitions change as we do...so it's an ongoing process. I like what you said about building our lives around stories...but, as a recruiter, I often found that my candidates who were most unhappy were the ones living stories written for someone else. So figuring out, telling and living your own story is important.

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