Everybody has their own definition of success. Once you define it for yourself, that’s the definition you should use as your benchmark. Too often people aspire to be successful based on the dictates of others. What do our parents, our spouses, our teachers, our co-workers, our employees, and our children expect from us? We often aim to please others and reach the goals they set for us. But is that really what we want? Is that totally satisfying to us? Is that what success means to us?
It’s true we will always want to do things for others, as that is part of a full life. But as for the basics of defining our own success, we need to take responsibility for that or we may never feel totally fulfilled. We need to define then chart our course for success in all areas of our lives that matter to us.
So how do you define success on your own terms? A good place to start is to examine your goals and your values. What are some objectives you want to achieve in your life? Why are they important to you? These are your goals and values. For example, an important value may be family and your goal is to get married and have children. Or if you hold self-expression as a value, your goal may be to write a book or create your own company around your talent.
Now that you’ve identified your values and goals, you’re ready to define success. One sweeping definition would be living a life based on your values and achieving all your goals. A more day-to-day definition would be having a great day, accomplishing small goals, and overcoming challenges. In other words, you may want to allow some flexibility in your definition. So that means if you don’t achieve ALL your goals, you’ll still feel some level of success. You will feel good about taking action toward your goals, about facing obstacles, and about the smaller achievements along the way.
To some people, success has nothing to do with accomplishments. It may be more in line with living a life based on your principles,...