Monica Cost
Chief Brand Strategist

*I remember the various things I used to indicate as a Symbol of Success (SOS). They were things like, a degree from a certain college, a house in a particular neighborhood, a sizable diamond, associations with particular people and groups, a “worthy”  job title, designer clothes and access, among other things. Some of them I attained. Others, I did not. The funny thing is, while achieving these SOS’s (which were not always a help, by the way) made others perceive that I was successful, the achievement of some of these things still left me wanting.

Red bottoms on your shoes. A trophy significant other. A sizable diamond. A black card to use for purchases. Fame. Riches. Access. Quality time with your loved ones. Having time to give back. Experiencing other cultures. What are your symbols of success?

This isn’t a trick question and it’s not for judgment purposes (nor for my judgment since I won’t know the answer or yours because no matter what it is, it will be authentic). Rather it is to acknowledge your destination point so that you can be sure you’re on the right path. In addition, I want to challenge us to think about what our true symbols of success are. Why? Because a life without authentic success and accomplishment is surely to be one that is unfulfilled. I know (as you may also) people with great jobs and no time to spend with their family, with an amazing wardrobe and no time to see the world, with notable friends and no one to support them. Get the picture? It’s easy to build a life of outward symbols that indicate success to the outside world, but not to your inner spirit.

The perceived symbol is not the success, but rather the achievement of the intended goal for ones life. What good is being VIP at every event if your mission is to develop quality friendships? What good is knowing famous people if your goal is to develop your own brand? What good is attaining a high level in your company if your marriage is falling apart? I’m not discounting the first achievement in any of the questions, but noting that it’s irrelevant if you haven’t achieved your authentic S.O.S.

If I were a betting woman (which I am on occasion, when I go to Vegas, for very low stakes), I would put money down that you have a few false S.O.S.s. Ones that if you traded in for authentic ones would bring a high level of satisfaction to your life.

S.O.S. a well known symbol that is a request for help. Identifying and achieving your personal S.O.S will bring you just that. . .help to happy.

Monica Cost is the Founder of Evidently Assured authentic brand strategy firm and the Live Your Truth Experience (L.Y.T.E.). She is the Author of the new life changing book on living an authentic life called, “The Things I Used to do to Sneeze!: How to live an authentic life with awesome sensations.”  Email her at:  [email protected]. Follow her via Twitter: @monicacost and Facebook.com/monicahairstoncost.  www.monicacost.com. Live true!