Success Mantra: Be On The Right Stage

We're starting a new feature. We're asking leaders, experts, and friends we respect to answer four big questions about how to SHOW UP AND SHINE in life and work. We don't have a name for this feature yet. We also aren't scheduling it for a particular day of the week. We're simply posting these short, punchy interviews when they fit the flow of this blog.


One thing we do promise about this new feature. You won't find perfect success stories here. Instead, you'll find real-life success stories. Stories that include accomplishments and failures. Stories that define “what is success” in authentic terms. Along the way you should be exposed to key success factors and likely pick up insights and quotes about success you can use to inspire you on your journey.

So we start today with John Henderson. John is a coach, speaker, and writer who motivates people out of challenging situations and into the success they are capable of. His Life Wise website offers people insight into his own rebound in life, as well as advice on finding their own pathway to higher success. From his responses to our four SHOW UP AND SHINE questions below, the success mantra that jumped off the page is: The BEST way to show up and shine in life and work is to be on the right stage!


If you boiled life down to one philosophy that brings meaning and adds value to your life no matter what circumstances you face, what is that philosophy for you?

Life is often best summed up right before death. Bronnie Ware put my life philosophy into words when she described the Top 5 Regrets of the Dying. The #1 regret is this: I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

For me, I have changed it to be this: I will have the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expect of me. Why not avoid the biggest mistake most people make?

What are one or two keys to success for you? 

The two keys to success for me are:

First, defining success properly. Money is very low on my list of attributes of success. A happy family, a healthy body, and pursuing my specific purpose in life all rank higher than money. Interestingly, however, money tends to show up for me when I'm focusing on these other things!

Second, intentionally and diligently pursuing my definition of success. This has meant turning down opportunities, working hard at the right times, and basing all of my decisions on how I define success.

What is one of the biggest mistakes you've made and what did you learn from it?

The biggest mistake I made was pursuing the wrong definition of success at the expense of my family. Because I was defining success as a dollar amount, I missed numerous birthdays, baseball games, and other life experiences that could never be bought back with any amount of money. Fortunately, I caught this mistake before any of my kids were grown.

What is your best advice for people who want to SHOW UP AND SHINE? What would you say to help people live into their bigger story?

The best way to show up and shine (by the way, I love that phrase Kent) is to be on the right stage! Hard work is not the answer. People work hard to be miserable, unhealthy, and broke. Working hard at the right thing is the only way to be the best version of yourself.


Question: John's success mantra is: “Don't just work hard, be on the right stage.” What's your best advice for people who want to make sure they are on the right stage and working hard at the right things?