Success What Does Success Mean

Published on May 11th, 2012


What Does Success Mean

Creating success in your life is a long path packed with hard work and aggressive goal setting. However, it’s impossible to begin this journey of personal evolution and achievement without first establishing a clear definition of success. When you’re working towards a goal, it’s important to understand why that goal is important, and how the rewards manifest in your actual life.

Success is far more than making money or landing a promotion at work. You can be successful in your professional life, your personal relationships or completely internally, depending on the areas in your life that you are looking to improve. Some of your goals may even combine several of these forms of success—advancing at work, for example, would land you more money in addition to more respect from your co-workers, plus the satisfaction from getting it done.

There are many ways to define success, depending on who you are and what you believe.

Common Types of Success

If you’re having trouble identifying what exactly success means to you, don’t worry—thousands of people struggle with this very aspect of starting a new project or making major life changes. It can be hard to find the right words to explain what you’re hoping to accomplish, so we’ve compiled a few common examples of success-driven concepts right here for you to peruse:

  • Accomplishing a goal
  • Making more money
  • Being more confident
  • Sticking to a workout plan
  • Completing a big hobby project
  • Showing more affection for loved ones
  • Being more spontaneous
  • Reducing stress and worry
  • Doing something that makes you happy
  • Living without regrets
  • Helping others with their goals

Naturally, these are just a few of countless methods for determining success. The only important factor is how these methods line up with your personal beliefs. If you would consider simply completing a goal to be a success and aren’t considered with the financial rewards, you can’t let other people’s success definitions inform your decisions. You must outline your definition of success, then stick with it at all costs.

Establishing Your Success Ideals

One of the easiest ways to discover how you feel about success is making a list of your top ten priorities in life. Sit down with a pen and paper, away from distractions, and put some time into establishing what you’d like to do, how you’d like to do it and how you would measure the payoffs. Choose ten measures of success for yourself that relate to your five biggest life priorities.

Once the list is complete, review it to get a better understanding of your definition of success. Are your goals mostly social? Are they financial? Are they a combination of both? Look through the priorities you’ve listed and see what they have in common. Additionally, browse through for definitions that are too broad or too unrealistic to accomplish—for example, “being a billionaire” is likely too abstract to have any impact on your daily life.

Now that you have a good grasp on what success means to you, it’s time to identify possible problems with your philosophy. For example, focusing on financial success could have a negative impact on your personal relationships. Focusing on altruism could do the same for your financial prospects. When you’re measuring your goals and priorities, it’s important to approach them with a sense of balance—no one aspect of your life should be so tightly focused that it negatively influences the others. The end goal should be a perfect synergy of goals that inform and support one another.

Success and its definition is entirely up to you. Ideally, you should be able to look yourself in the mirror each night and be proud of the things you’ve accomplished that day. Success is about doing the things you want to do and living the life you want to live, regardless of the opinions of others. It’s not money-dependent, nor is it identified by some sort of social standard. Success, in the end, is completely defined by the things that make you happy and the things for which you are willing to work.

Don’t look at other people for ideas on success. Don’t ask your friends and your family members. Instead, look inside yourself for the things you find truly satisfying, then work on those things as hard as you can. In personal satisfaction, you will find success and confidence, which in turn will lead to plenty of other opportunities. Take the time to reflect and you’ll find that success is much easier to attain.

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