The Core of Your Success

by | Jun 14, 2011 | 2 comments

The other day one of my clients, we will call him John, asked me question I hear often:

“What happens to those who follow their dreams and LOSE?”

What happens when you are defeated?


John said he keeps hearing stories of those who risked it all and won and he wonders if he is not risking enough. What about everyone else? John knew that not everyone wins on the big risk – so how do the others come out?

The REAL Success Question

The real heart of John’s question is…

“Do you have to risk it all for your passion – house, money, family, and even yourself?

This is really a great question. Our business icons in society sometimes display a “risk it all and win” behavior. And our media (as well as us) display these high rollers as great heroes…models for the rest of us.

Success Factors and their Core

But what was the CORE to these winners? Your core is formed by the things you will never compromise on – things that are at the CORE of your being. Things like faith, family, and integrity.

You must define your passions and personal desires as subsets of your CORE. Your CORE is the foundation of who you are and what matters. If family is a CORE and you risk them, you are a fool and a liar – EVEN IF YOU WIN in the eyes of the world. After all, your family will always know that you risked them to get what you wanted.

We see this behavior all around us. People who risked it all and won. Yet, if you look at their core, you often find they really lost. Some wealthy and famous people are really poor, having lost their family, their integrity, and their own sense of being. And in time, they too will suffer from their poor decisions.

Your Success Models

While I enjoy reading about and learning from people who win, I have learned to look a bit deeper. Where will they be in a few years? Divorced with their children alienated? In rehab? Testifying before Congress to defend their actions? In jail? Or perhaps, just simply miserable.

Thankfully we have many examples of people who have achieved balance. I am tempted to list them here  – but I have to be careful. They are still living. What if I do not see the real truth of their life? While they are still living and breathing, the truth may come out and it may be ugly. Someone once told me you should get your models from those who have passed from this life  – only then can you know how the story ends.

So, you must balance the game out, doing what is smart and winning smart. To WIN in business, but to lose the most valuable thing in the process is NOT a win – it is a major loss! Perhaps the question of the core is “How do you keep score?”

Watching society to define success is a poor measure.

Define Your CORE

So before you get moving to win like those you see on TV, what is your CORE? What do you value most that no amount of money or fame would be worth losing?

About the Author

Dale Callahan

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  1. Jaret Langston

    Very good advice and something that needs to be evaluated every so often to keep yourself in check. It also reminds me of some advice I was given once. “If you want to learn how to be wealthy, do not talk to someone young and wealthy. Talk to someone older and wealthy. They not only became wealthy, they learned how not to loose it.”

  2. Dale

    Love that advice!!!

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