We all love data. Data that is quantifiable, helps you to measure one point to another and to see improvements.

Data is a great measure of progress but not if it’s coming from a high starting point pushing organisations, teams, and people to chase a number, that is probably a eutopia-made-up number.

How are you measuring your success?

Not everything that can be measured is important and not everything that is important can be measured.

Albert Einstein

Einstein also said that ‘the measure of intelligence is the ability to change’ so why do measures become so fixed?

When you Google ‘how do you measure your success’, the results will include lists of measures including profitability, customers, use feedback, complete daily tasks, look at your career growth, and more.

These lists encourage you to always focus in a linear fashion, yet life, work, and business are never linear.

In 2016, Sir Richard Branson wrote on LinkedIn:

“Too many people measure how successful they are by how much money they make or the people that they associate with. In my opinion, true success should be measured by how happy you are.

“It’s a common misconception that money is every entrepreneur’s metric for success,” he continued. “It’s not, and nor should it be.”

He also says that he never started a business to make money, stating that “every Virgin product and service has been made into a reality to make a positive difference in people’s lives. And by focusing on the happiness of our customers, we have been able to build a successful group of companies.”

At what cost is progress on your happiness?

When you are striving for progress, at what point do you take a moment to celebrate the steps you have taken? However small your step, celebration is important for your thinking and your mood. It’s the easiest thing in the world to immediately say ‘I didn’t achieve that’ ‘it’s not what I expected’.

And then you weave progress into mood and they become explicitly linked.

This week’s experiment for you is to separate the two.

The diagram below shows how you can mark your progress and your mood. You may, if you wish, separate them against projects or goals.

For example, if you have a goal or a dream you wish to achieve, you may feel good or bad in your progress towards it. The downside to this is that you say to yourself, I’m feeling really bad about this, it’s not going to work.

You could also try this 3×3 model:

Now, before you say, yes I do that with my teams and peers, do you do this for yourself?

There will be days when it’s easy and days when it will be harder towards your progress. Recognise that your lower or pessimistic mood doesn’t mean you aren’t making progress.

Give it a whirl, and let me know how you get along.

Image by Alex McCarthy via Unsplash

Juliet is an award-winning executive coach, consultant, and leader. Over the next 10 years, her mission is to shape a million futures by liberating dreams, igniting possibilities, and elevating your extraordinary.

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