By Aviva Black of Familial

I pride myself on being on time. Back when my college-age kids were in preschool, that meant a lot of wrangling to get out the door. But I was on time! One day, we rushed in a ghastly 15 minutes late. I ran over to Teacher Sue and apologetically explained that my son had insisted on tying his own shoes which took forever! She replied, “Isn’t that great?”

That simple question stopped me in my tracks.

Where does our success mindset come from? Like so much else, these ideas began populating our brains when we were children. Since then, parents, teachers, peers, advertising, society and culture have all played into our success mindset.

But how often do we stop to think about what success really means to us?

I ask each client I work with how he or she defines success. Regardless of age, everyone includes reaching one’s potential in their description of success. As proud as they are of their grown children, very few of my older clients mention what colleges their kids attended.

Here’s how one 85 year old client – and lifelong mentor — equates success with generosity:

“There is great reward and deep pleasure in success that’s in the interest of one’s self, one’s family and one’s communities. It includes finding and learning from those on the paths ahead of you and turning to help those behind you.” – Chris D.

My older clients like Chris hone in on what we would agree is most important. For them, it’s about how you achieve success and what you do with it that matters.

Eighty-one year old Patty is my success hero. Like many, she’s had her fair share of hardship. These struggles informed her outlook. Here’s her recipe for success:

“For me, true success is about being motivated and having desire. It’s about learning from your successes and failures, remaining positive and open. You don’t need to achieve all this on your own. Find a mentor, practice and love yourself!

To help you think about your success mindset, I have an assignment for you:

Take a few quiet moments to think these questions:

  • How did your parents talk about success?
  • What does success for you – and for your kids – look like?
  • Which aspects are most important and why?
  • What knowledge and people resources can you tap to get you there?

Good luck on your path to success, however you define it. Reach out to me here to share your aha moments or to sign up to receive my newsletter.

Meet Aviva Black from Familial

Aviva Black helps people create one of a kind, highly personalized gifts for their loved ones in the form of a letter that captures stories to be shared with family. Her philosophy is that people want to share their stories to feel relevant, to be seen and to stay connected.

Known for her approachable style, Aviva is passionate about linking the generations through family stories. After working together, Aviva’s clients come away feeling proud of what they’ve shared in their love letters to their family, with a recognition that they’ve led a full life and with a clearer picture of what’s most meaningful at this point in their lives.