This sounds like either a really dumb title or it might be something really deep. You are going to have to be the one to decide. It is a statement with wide applicability and yet the meaning has haunted me for years and always implied some deeper meaning.

The first time I remember hearing it was from my father when he told me, “you won’t be happy until you are happy.” My response at the time was, “Huh?”

As I grew older, I learned about the “Law of Attraction” which can be summed up by Proverbs 23:7, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” It was then that I understood what my father had been telling me.

The second time I heard it was when I was writing a chapter for “Masterpieces in Health Care Leadership” a text book for the Health Care Industry. My interviewee was Mike Visniesky, the Director of Environmental Services at Fairview Hospital. Mike was talking to his people and he told them that, “you won’t be a leader until you are one.”

Mike’s statement reminded me of an earlier time in my career when I watched another person get a promotion I thought I deserved. I was bright, had a college degree, all I needed was a chance. Later I looked back on that time and realized the subsequent promotions I received had come after I demonstrated my leadership ability in the very role I had been promoted to. I wasn’t given the official title until I had demonstrated that I really was the leader.

Eventually I started my own business because I wanted to be successful. As I talked to my sister about my plan for the new business, she said to me that I had a very successful corporate career and she was certain I would be successful in this endeavor. I realized that what appeared to be successful to others didn’t feel successful to me. It was then I started to ask the questions, who am I? Why am I here?

This raised even more new questions, like:

Are we our things? Are we our clothes, our cars or our homes?

I don’t think so.

Are we our bodies?

I certainly hope not.

Are we our minds?

I don’t think so as we recognize that we can change our minds, so there must be another level.

Are we our Souls, Spirits or Inner Beings?

There is the real question.

Rodd Wagner & James K Harter, PH.D wrote the book “12” based on some ten million workplace interviews. In the 1990 survey 98% of the respondents said that believing life has meaning or purpose was important to them. Only 2% didn’t believe that live has a meaning or purpose and that is incredible when you consider that according to the Fox News/ Opinion Dynamics poll of 2002, “about 19% of Americans believe that Elvis is either alive or that there is a chance he is still alive.”

Success isn’t about clothes, cars or fancy houses. Success is about connecting with our Spirit or Soul and finding the purpose or meaning for our life.

You won’t be successful until you are successful!

Author's Bio: 

© Copyright Bob Cannon/The Cannon Advantage, 2008. All rights reserved.

Bob Cannon turns managers into leaders who enhance performance and profitability in their organizations. Check out other interesting articles available in the Taking Aim newsletter available at . Bob can be reached at (216) 408-9495.

This article courtesy of You may freely reprint this article on your website or in your newsletter provided this courtesy notice and the author name and URL remain intact.