Without much thought you could probably rattle off a dozen or more people we consider successful. But have we ever stopped to ask why we consider them successful? Are they successful because they have money or a great job? Is it because they’re famous? Or have a great marriage?
Success is primarily defined as the accomplishment of one’s goals. The secondary definition is success is an attainment of wealth, position, and honors. Do you think these two definitions reinforce each other? Or is it possible that they could be polar opposites?
Most of us never go this deep with our analysis of success. So in our minds we’ve merged these two definitions of success. That’s the fatal flaw.
I believe the secondary definition is completely unnecessary. Is it possible to accomplish a goal where wealth, position, and honors are not outcomes? Was Mother Theresa successful?
Lewis Carroll said “If you don’t know where you are going any road will take you there”. I believe this quote is universally applicable to many ideas but none more than clarity and goal setting.
If you haven’t clearly defined success how will you know who to look up to? Or more importantly how will you know where you are going? Is it possible to set goals without first clearly defining where you want them to take you?
My definition of success is centered around making a positive impact in the world, helping lots of people, raising a healthy strong family, and creating freedom in my life. Therefore my goals are focused on accomplishing the major goal, success. Now when I set goals I don’t have to pluck then out of the air willy nilly. I have a litmus test to hold them up to. I ask myself if these goals move me closer to success.
Your definition of success will likely be different. So here’s your exercise. Write down what success is to you. Congratulations! You’ve created the foundation to accomplishing your dreams. Now instead of all those roads (goals) taking you anywhere, they will take you to where you want to go.
PS. Throughout our lives our definition of success will change and minor tweaks may be necessary. Make a habit of routinely checking in on your north star (your definition of success) and a rerouting when necessary.
When someone asks me if I consider myself successful without hesitation my reply is yes and I’m becoming more successful everyday.
Are you successful?