Changing Values - SUCCESS.
by John Powderly FRSA

Welcome back to this series of writings dedicated to the work and worldview of Cultural Dynamics Strategy and Marketing. Here I continue to explore the concept of Control and weave it with the need for happiness by exploring success through the eyes of the Values Modes.

Settlers and Success

As Settlers, our sense of success could come across as somewhat muted, because it is less about creating a better life and more about maintaining and enriching the life we already have. Our core measures of success are when we feel safer and more secure than we did in the past. This could still result in bigger houses, well-paid jobs and respected social positions, but the core motivation is to guard against potential problems and crises, not to be seen in a better light by our peers, or society as a whole.

In the broader context, at our best, we are good at preparing the ground for success, rather than planning for success.

Prospectors and Success

As Prospectors, we embody the pursuit of happiness. We feel good when we feel that we are creating an even happier future. And one way to create a happier future is to be successful. Willing to invest time, money and effort into a better life, we are willing to delay gratification and work very hard at building our ideal future.

We need to feel valued and respected by other people and one way to receive such respect is to be successful. So being successful is not enough, we need to be seen as successful. When life throws curve balls and we start to topple on life's ladder, we will be tempted to bolster the image we present to the world. This is a potential source of great anxiety as we try to fake it before we make it.

Alongside planning, being able to organise is another way we maintain a sense of control in life. Strangely, if we achieve unexpected and unplanned success we may not feel ready, because we have not put things in place to support such change. If fame enters our lives, our internal Settler energy will help to steady the ship, as we recognise the need to ground ourselves whilst flying our kite.

Pioneers and Success

External success may still feature in our lives, but it is not among our most dominant motivations. In fact, success that does not go hand in hand with personal growth is likely to cause problems. For example, doing a job just for the money will prove to be very difficult. Rather than just measuring and assessing what we do, we feel more in control (and happier) when we are improving the way we do something.

We set our own measures of success, which may not always be visible to other people. These measures may be quite refined and nuanced, as we try to balance any material gains with our awareness of those who are less successful. Also, if we find that the trappings of success start to stifle self expression and personal responsibility, we will change things. Dramatic career changes and changes in direction are not too unusual, as we try to follow our heart and to feel less controlled by the perceived demands of society.

N.B. All views and opinions expressed through these writings are solely my own, and do not necessarily represent the views of Cultural Dynamics.

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