A few years ago, I had one of the more meaningful experiences in my life. I heard a motivational speaker talk about Zig Ziglar’s Stages of Success. Now, I’ve read and heard about these stages of success many times from many sources. But, as life happens, one day the words hit a bullseye inside of me. Sometimes I think that happens right? You can hear a message a bunch of times and it doesn’t land a punch but then one day you are in the right place at the right time to really have the message sink in deep.
The first stage of success is survival. This is the starting point. Many people live in survival mode. They may live paycheck to paycheck. (In fact, statistics say 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.) During the pandemic, survival mode may take a different perspective than we’ve any ever experienced. Many people get stuck in survival mode and remain there most of their life. Some do not see survival mode as a stepping stone or motivation to grow.
Stability is the second stage where life evens out. Some are blessed to have family support or blessings in life that enable them to skip the survival part. Most of us, however, have to climb the hill before we get to the plateau. It can be easy to pitch your tent on the plateau and accept the semi-comfort at this stage. Risk-taking may seem precarious because it could jeopardize the stability and cause a fall back to survival mode.
Security is a step above stability. Improving the financial situation – building savings for a safety net against unplanned expenses – may be an example of moving from stability to security. Be cautious at the security stage as some mistake the security stage for success. It may equate to a nice house, having disposable income, and savings in the bank. Often people stuck in the security = stage feel like their time is not their own and therefore unfulfilled.
Success is the main stage in the stages of success. Success has both an objective component and a subjective component. Statistics say that 98% of people never make it out of the first three stages to achieve their ultimate dream. Keep in mind, money is not the definition of success. Success is designing your= life and pulling it off to your own personal satisfaction. So, why are so many not successful? Some pitch their tent in the other three levels and quit on their dreams. Maybe they quit due to failures or maybe they aren’t willing to pay the ultimate price to reach success. But for those few, success is a crown to wear with pride.
What happens when you find you have achieved success? What’s next? Success is something you do for yourself. It is selfish. Achievement is your own personal joy but does not translate to others. With success, you influence yourself but with significance, your influence is unlimited. Success asks, “how can I add value to myself?” Significance asks, “how can I add value to others?” With significance, you get to celebrate the joy of others’ success. Pursuing significance takes us out of our comfort zone. The area between security and success is comfortable. But growing above success – transforming – is uncomfortable.
When the motivational speaker talked about moving from success to significance in that moment, I felt like he saw through to my soul and bared for all to see my internal struggles. I had a feeling that I had achieved success, particularly outward objective success, but I was dissatisfied and seeking something more. In the message of moving from success to significance I felt like I finally hit on what I was missing. I wanted to take what I’ve learned, the lessons along the way, and use those to mentor others in their journeys toward success.
Do you want help achieving your goals and dreams? A life coach or success coach might help. Let’s talk. Maybe I can help.