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How do you measure success? Five elements you should look at.

Success is the sum of the contents inside five jars and its compound interests over time.


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Tealfeed Guest Blog

3 years ago | 3 min read

We read about successful men and women all the time in the news, and we celebrate them on social media, but what does it mean to be successful?

When you stop and think about it, whenever we use the word ‘successful’ we often think of the money in someone’s bank account. And that’s as reductive as it can get.

Success is much more than a notable number on your account (and what should that number be anyway?). I’ve read a lot about successful people and the truth is that we measure success very differently. It changes based on culture, upbringing conditions, location, and one own’s beliefs.

However, there are certain patterns one can gather and understand what success is made of, and it’s a combination of five elements.

It took me months to figure them out. This is how I visualize them:

Success is the sum of the contents inside five jars and its compound interests over time. The five jars are filled with:

  1. Health: general well-being, nutrition, fitness, how well you sleep and the condition of the mind
  2. Love & Relationships: your relation with your partner, kids, love-life, relatives, and pets
  3. Personal Finances: what you do with what you earn, including savings, investing, shopping and general lifestyle
  4. Work & Career: the impact you have on society and more often than not what you are getting paid to do
  5. Hobbies: everything you do to disconnect, grow and/or relax

The jars stand inside a wooden case called life. And your life, your inner well-being, is the sum of the emotions resulting from each part.

When you wake up every day, you’re given some seeds to fill the jars. The seeds are limited, and if you fill a jar too much, you won’t have enough seeds left for the other ones. The seeds represent your time, energy and focus for that week.

The secret is to put just enough seeds. The famous balance.

Each week you sell the case back to yourself. You evaluate each jar and judge if it’s been a good week or not. This is known as Sunday Reflection. It’s when you open the jars, collect the seeds, and plant them.

If the seeds were good, they grow and grow, and so you look at what you’ve accomplished this week and last week, last month, last season, this life, and you see what is growing well, you see it because you plant and take care of it each week.

“Reaping is reserved for those who sow. To deserve the harvest, you must plant the seed” — Jim Rohn

Now, be careful, because here’s where it gets tricky. If you don’t take care of one jar for a week the plant will suffer, and you should take extra care of it next week.

The good part is that “the plants” will die only once you die. You’ve almost always got the time to take care of those you’ve abandoned for a while.

However, the damage you do to each part can be considerable and sometimes irreversible. You can see the signs every week when you hold the case and it’s wobbling on one side or the other because one or more jars are empty while others are overflowing. And you don’t do anything to fix this. You let some of your plants wither, blinded by the greatness of the others.

Maybe you’re so busy working you don’t read books to your children, even after science has proven that that is one of the best things you could do as a parent.

Life doesn’t take care of itself, you take care of it, by filling each jar every week in equal balance.

I’m passionate about “the five jars of life” and I will be writing extensively about them and all the techniques and ways to keep them balanced. For now, I’m happy I found out that an equilibrium exists, and will make it one of my life goals to try and balance the jars.

This article was originally published by Simone bocedi on medium.

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