US life coach Dr Ron Jenson: Achieve authentic success now
“Do you think you’re successful?”
This was the question that Dr Ron Jenson, "America’s life coach" and author of Make A Life, Not Just A Living, asked his diverse audience at the Salt & Light Ventures' 5th Happy at Work Conference: Building a Culture of Character held at SMX Convention Center, Taguig City on Tuesday, July 28.
Jenson, who also wrote Achieving Authentic Success, asked them afterward. "How about your associate? Your wife? Your child? Your body? Your conscience?"
He was in town for a day to coach Filipinos and other nationalities on what authentic success is; how workforce productivity can be maximized; and why character counts in the workplace.
Jenson engaged them in thinking sessions and asked the participants to plot their life success chart, from birth to death. Despite the low dips, majority admitted their graphs are still rising.
“We all move to our definition of success,” he added. He differentiated the cultural concept of success from satisfying, genuine success.
The following 3 lesson-statements stood out from Jenson's talk:
People want to succeed. But what do they want to succeed at?
Here are 5 things – awe-inspiring in themselves – that people too often chase - the "5Ps": power, position, prosperity, prestige, and pleasure.
Happiness is hard to come by with the experience of any of the "5Ps." The pressure mounts, expectations from others run high, the bar gets raised, and complacency grows even as one finds oneself dying to taste more.
Quoting Forbes magazine founder B.C. Forbes, Jenson said: “How many men do I know who are earning dollars aplenty, but who are really earning little of what counts. They are so overwhelmingly engrossed in business that they get nothing from their dollars. The Juggernaut of dollar-making has crushed out of them every capacity for genuine enjoyment, every unselfish sentiment and instinct.”
When asked about their happiness source, none of the thousands of leaders Jenson interviewed said anything about the 5Ps. Instead, he found out that they shared the two things authentic success is derived from: completeness and contribution. The former refers to winning in all vital areas of life, and the latter, to giving back and making a difference.
But how does one get there? Focus on the roots, not the fruit.
Think of the metaphor of the tree, Jenson said – the roots extending deeply beneath earth to reach the nutrients, which correspond to wisdom. The fruit, or the results, comes naturally. The action is packed underneath, past what can be instantly seen.
Attaining wisdom entails critical thinking and a positive attitude. The two components should be balanced. Otherwise, one can end up having a critical attitude or being too optimistic, or both.
Wisdom is about living in reality, not in denial, while maintaining the outlook that things can be better when one changes the things that failed or did not yield results, he said. Changing includes resetting the mind, habits, and behavior.
Jenson told the story of a man who had experienced the 5Ps. Yet, his wife had died, he had not been doing well physically, and he had been stripped of his acting chief executive officer (CEO) post.
But someone kind enough pointed out to him the possibilities if he would only change his perception and thus, his life’s course.
Indeed, that man turned his life around by taking the other guy’s suggestion, which included using his time as chairman instead of CEO to mentor others; helping to reshape Canada’s politics through contributing his money to nonprofit groups; and working on his well-being to stay alive for 12 more years.
We lead ourselves first.
The lack of self-governance has lent governments in big terms, and businesses and individuals in smaller terms, “wasteful, unproductive, unprofitable” – far from the true picture of success.
Self-leadership is also referred to as character quotient or CQ. It is part of the leadership model that includes: strategic or organizational leadership; skills leadership; and interpersonal leadership or emotional quotient (EQ).
Jenson believes that leadership should spring from the self. And one can lead a nation, an organization, a community, a family, among other units of society, if one has mastered self-leadership.
“Self-governing means people are self-disciplined – that they are driven from the inside out, that they have a good set of principles and they follow them.”
Universal principles surrounding goodness make up the straight line. C.S. Lewis once wrote, and Jenson quoted, “A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.”
“We need to self-govern in a deep level,” Jenson said. Without this, one can only chase authentic success in vain. – Rappler.com
Shadz Loresco is a freelance business writer for both online and print. Follow her on Twitter: @shadzloresco.