In Search of Success

Is your definition of success sabotaging your quest for greater happiness and fulfillment?

By Roger Young

If you watched the hit TV series, Friends, you’re one of over 50 million people who catapulted it to stratospheric commercial success. Considered one of the most popular television shows of all time, Friends racked up over sixty Emmy nominations, earning it a place in TV history.

Lauded as the first true ensemble cast, each of the six castmates earned $1 million an episode in their last two seasons, making the three female cast members the highest paid TV actresses of all time.

Before you start humming “I’ll be there for you,” take a moment to consider just how successful the actors behind the characters really were. As his legions of fans tuned in weekly to watch funny guy Chandler Bing navigate his twenties, actor Matthew Perry was struggling in real life.

In his recently released memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, Perry sheds light on his challenges with drug and alcohol addiction while filming the show, resulting in significant medical complications.

With a net worth around $300 million, Jennifer Aniston is regarded by many as the most successful Friends cast member, with fame extending beyond the show through a series of hit films and her own line of haircare products. But at the height of her Friends success, Aniston endured a very painful, and very public, breakup with then husband Brad Pitt, himself an accomplished actor.

Aniston recently opened up about her private struggles with infertility while filming the show. She endured years of media scrutiny and public speculation that she selfishly valued fame over family, all while she privately underwent dozens of medical procedures trying to have a baby.

Nobody can argue that Perry and Aniston have achieved massive career success and amassed vast wealth. But what happened in their lives off the set challenges that narrow definition of success.

Success is more multi-faceted than the size of your bank account or the number of gold statues on your desk.

  • Do you have strong relationships with your significant other, family and friends?
  • How’s your mental and physical well-being?
  • Are you growing and developing as a person?
  • Do you have hobbies and interests outside of work that bring you joy?
  • Are you doing what you love?

Over the course of our lives, our perspectives shift on what’s most important, with different facets taking center stage. We only get in trouble when we allow one part of our life to remain in the starring role for too long at the expense of success in other areas of our lives.

Sustained success comes with greater balance across all facets of our lives.

Join a future Excel at Work and Life Challenge and learn how to define what success means for you personally, and how to live with greater focus, energy, and fulfillment.

Don’t keep living a narrow definition of success. Get started living with greater success in all facets of your life.