Success Before 30: Writing Your Own Life Story

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 - 10:48

Guest post by Aaron LePoidevin 

Recently being selected as one of the AIM30 Under 30 has given me cause to reflect on what it takes to achieve success at a young age.

Success, of course, means many different things to different people. I think of success as the accomplishment of a useful aim or purpose. Using this definition, to be successful you must first have a specific aim or purpose.

To better understand the impact of having a written purpose, late last year I undertook the 100 day challenge – a program designed to accelerate achievement through goal setting in any area of your life. I decided upon three specific aims, one work-related and two personal. My work-related goal involved sharing insights on the importance of innovation with 25 companies I had not met before. My personal goals involved completing my first solo flight and volunteering with Angel Flight.

I have read that three of the five dysfunctions of a team include a failure to focus on goals, an absence of commitment and a lack of accountability. These potential pitfalls would not be acceptable as part of the 100 day challenge – this was going to be an interesting learning experience!

By the end of the 100 days I had achieved more than I thought was possible. The structure and commitment to a few specific goals in this challenge really highlighted the importance of defining your purpose and the need for discipline and accountability.

Success in the 21st century requires managers to consider all aspects of their life so they can become authentic leaders and balanced as a person. I encourage all young managers to consider their lives as a whole when defining their career path.

One way of doing this is to understand and create your life story. This process encourages important self-reflection and builds self-awareness. The great thing about your life story is that you can build it any way you want, you don’t need to be preoccupied with the past or the identity other people might have shaped for you.

When building your story, know that being open and authentic is an excellent way to build trust. In addition, if you are in touch with your values, you can define a career path that aligns with those values and that will ultimately provide you with greater satisfaction.This will ensure you have your “mojo”. While we all have extrinsic and intrinsic motivators, the intrinsic tend to provide more sustained satisfaction.

By understanding yourself and writing your own life story, young and experienced managers will be in a much better position to inspire and empower others and deliver superior results.

Aaron LePoidevin is a Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers and one of AIM’s 2014 30 Under 30.