How do we measure success?

How do you measure the success of yourself, your work, your community and your government?

For many people, their initial thoughts when measuring their personal success starts at an economic level thinking about their income. However, when we dig down we measure our success in a deeper way.

On a personal level we actually evaluate our job satisfaction, not just salary level, we think about our relationships, our family and our passions. We look at the goals we have kicked, the ones we have missed and the new goals on the horizon.

When we are connected to our community, we evaluate success on the connection we feel. We are proud of the help we have given and what we have received.

However, when people feel disconnected from our community they are more likely to compare and measure success in economic indicators.  To look at house prices, median income, their neighbours careers and vocations. The personal and community value of connectedness, of equality, are harder to see.

The measurement of government’s success in public statements is often fiscal, when it should be based on broader values. What is the point of a government budget being in the black when thousands of people are living in poverty?

A government that strives for truly “balanced books” is not just measuring that balance economically, but also equality, justice, human rights and self-determination.

A government that values connection and community is far more powerful than one that only articulates success in terms of the dollars.

There is currently a lot of focus on inequality across the world – and there should be, it is growing.  The measure of our success should in part be on the work we are doing now to address growing inequality, but also how we are setting up our communities for future generations. As advocates and representatives of communities, it is our work to help governments understand that our measures of success and goals that we hold for ourselves, our communities and our governments are broad and not just economic.

When we only look for dollar figures, we miss the parts of ourselves and our communities that are priceless. The greatest measure of success is when we pitch our goals high and seek to make our communities greater for all, now and into the future.