Five Minute Thought: What Does Success Mean to You?

This is a blog post with a difference. Instead of me, the writer, providing answers I instead pose the questions. Then through 5 minutes of self-reflection you come up with your own answers.

Your answers might lead you:

  • to make different choices
  • do something different
  • handle something in a different way
  • or just be more confident in yourself and your thoughts and opinions

A Five Minute Thought: An Introduction

I recently attended a brilliant meetup in London Coaching Principles by Kim Morgan. One of the exercises we did was with a coaching partner to spend 5 minutes thinking out loud.  I found the exercise really insightful on a personal level. The concentrated time gave me a deeper level of realisation on some thoughts that I’d previously been just touching the surface on.

In leading such a hectic lives, with so many things going on, and things to watch, read, do and get done, how often do you have time to sit down and really think about a subject?

In an Agile environment, this lack of time for self-reflection is, I think, a problem. Why? Because at its core, Agile is a mind-set.

For example:

  1. The principle of simplicity[1] – require critical thought on each item we do and seeing its worth in a new way.
  2. Change in agile is not driven at a process level, it’s driven at its most basic level by our thoughts on a process and how to make it better.
  3. Experiment comes from thinking up ideas.

Fundamentally Agile is driven by people and their own mind-sets on a whole range of subjects.

If you agree – how about joining in with us for 5 solid minutes of self-reflection on our first topic: success: what do you think success means to you?

What do you think success means to you?

Helpful tips 1:

Before you get thinking – here are some ideas to help you:

  • Get somewhere comfy
  • ensure no-one is going to interrupt or distract you
  • If you want to capture your thoughts then either record yourself talking, or write down your thoughts afterwards. Don’t be tempted to write them down during the exercise otherwise you will distract yourself with writing rather than thinking
  • If you aren’t good at judging time get out a watch or use a stop watch on your phone…you really want to think for at least 5 solid minutes of only your self-reflection

Comfy now? Ready?

The question: what do you think ‘success’ means?

And go….

Helpful tips 2:

Here are sub-questions to help if you aren’t sure where to get started (choose 1 or 2 questions at most from the list below):

  • What does success feel to you?
  • What different types of success are there?
  • How can you support yourself in achieving success?
  • How can you support others in achieving success?
  • How does your company and/or team measure success? Are these measures the right ones – why or why not?
  • How do you actions and decisions support achieving these?
  • Is success a state of mind? How do you the decisions you make support you achieving this success?
  • Are you working or living in a way which makes it energy-draining to feel the success you want?
  • What parameters of your definition of success could you alter to achieve success in the way you currently live or work? Do you want to do this?
  • How does success as an individual support success of a team or company, and vice-versa?
  • How do you know when you’ve achieve success? How do you know when you are failing so you can change it/dampen it? How can you amplify (increase) you success?

What did you think of this exercise? Did you work out what success means to you? Let me know in the comments section below.

[1] Simplicity, the art of maximising the amount of work not done, is essential.

Read more articles about prerequisites for success.

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