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bigstock-Shoppers-At-Shopping-Center-5312628“Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” – Francis Chan. [Tweet this.]

Are you measuring success according to your values?

How do we pivot from having a fear of failure to having passion for pursuing a truly successful business and meaningful life?

And as we enter the holiday season: how does what we perceive as driving memorable experiences, vibrant relationships and significant impact determine the outcome of this special time of year?

You can find the answer to both of these questions by reflecting on Black Friday 2013. Let me explain.

In your local paper this weekend there was likely an article about what people could do to best prepare for the holidays. It provided tips on how to maximize Black Friday, get holiday travel arranged, order the hottest gifts and bake the most delicious cookies. This article also likely concluded with the promise that, in completing this list, you will reduce stress, give the best gifts and create “perfect” life-long memories.

In contrast, did you hear another, very different story from the media too? One noting statistics on the increased stress, animosity and selfishness that dawns with every Black Friday? This story highlighted the fights that broke out around the country at stores as people battled for parking spots, places in line and discounted merchandise.

My friends, when we think about our actions over the last few days, and the ads and news stories we’ve seen over the last few weeks, do they suggest that we find fulfillment in genuine connection with others? Giving selflessly of ourselves to bring joy to those we love? Supporting great organizations and causes that truly make a difference? Or, do they suggest that we believe happiness is discovered with the “right holiday look,” the “hottest tech gadget” or the “perfect” gift?

True success in life is not something you can purchase on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. [Tweet that.]

Real success is, however, something that can be strived for; it’s absolutely worth waiting in line for and worthy of sharing with everyone you meet.

My friends, I wrote each of my Monday Morning Motivation newsletters in November with the aim to support you in increasing gratitude. This December, as we dance through the holiday season and toward the coming New Year, we’ll focus on redefining what real success looks like not only for the holidays, but for life.

So this month, get ready to turn down the outside voices and listen to the one from within. Begin December with the end in mind. Regardless of your current situations professionally, relationally or personally, what does true success look like for you? Regardless of your past failures and the fears you face today, how might you utilize them to propel yourself towards even greater significance and impact? Regardless of the name for the holiday that you’ll be celebrating this month, what does a truly successful version of it look like for you?

Marketers want us to utilize this season to successfully purchase their products.

But my friends, endeavor instead to utilize this season to advance from the mistakes, missteps and failures of who you were into the hope, the freedom and the gift of the person you might become. [Tweet this.]

It’s not failing we should fear, but succeeding at things that don’t ultimately matter. [Tweet this.] Living this truth each day would be a gift both worthy of unwrapping for yourself and absolutely perfect for giving away to others.

P.S. Next Monday, I’m excited to share the story of a Rising Above partner and community member who lives this idea of a true success in both her business and life. (When I asked her to share her story, she insisted on sharing delicious treats with our Rising Above Community friends this holiday season. So, get ready for a treat for you and one that you’ll be able to share with the ones you love, too!)

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Live Inspired Together is a community of friends changing the world together, starting with their own. In a world that often focuses on negativity, John O’Leary - Live Inspired shares the other side of the story through his member-supported channels (essays, Live Inspired Podcast, video, webcasts, social platforms) to connect our community and share inspiration and actions to live it. Support now.