First off, what is a definition of success on which we can all agree?  I’ve always been fond of Ralph Waldo Emmerson’s connotation of success: “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics, and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”


So what can help us lead an even more successful life?  Think of a NAP.


Nurture to Navigate: Nurture yourself so you can nurture others. The instruction we are given by flight attendants before takeoff is –  in the event of a change in cabin pressure, put your own oxygen mask on first and then help those around you get theirs on.  The same holds true in our lives regardless of the change or pressures we may be experiencing.  We need to take care of ourselves first so we can attend to those around us. The terrain we are traversing is always changing. We must learn to navigate the pitfalls, detours, and switchbacks that make up the topography around us. To argue that the map is not accurate or that the terrain should be different so it matches the map is one of the biggest energy leaks there is. If you nurture yourself properly you will have the energy to navigate the everchanging landscape.


Accept and Advocate: As stated above things change, people change, the only thing that is certain is change. To squander energy and resources arguing against what is will eventually prove to be futile.  What we resist only persists. Accept it, roll with it and be your own advocate.  However, with that being said, to take a stand to right a wrong is a worthy endeavor. Choose the path that will honor your highest values and it will be the right decision. Ask for what you need that will serve you and the greater good and be relentless.


Ponder and Propagate: When things are going good people tend to party. When life doesn’t seem to be going our way it’s a time to ponder. We must develop a methodology to bring forth our best thinking. What are the resources available and the people we can connect with that will cause us to access our full potential? Get those in place before the going gets tough.  During the times of adversity ponder what choices influenced your current proximity. Imagine the choices needed to adjust your trajectory and propagate those into the equation of seeking the success you desire.


Want more success in your life? Remember there’s a NAP for that.  This week what will you do to nurture yourself so you can  navigate setbacks and disappointments more effectively and expeditiously?  What will you accept that you have been resisting? Carve time out each day to ponder  what is working and what must be improved in order to experience greater success. Carry that with you and pay it forward.


Make it up, make it fun, and get it done!