Defining success on your terms

Success is a word that’s often tossed around in our culture. We describe other people as successful for a variety of reasons but it’s worth keeping in mind that in order for us to be successful ourselves we need to know exactly what our definition of success is. Otherwise we’re chasing other people’s version of success without being true to ourselves. It’s well worth getting comfortable with the fact that it’s fine if our definition of success doesn’t match other people’s, or is even disliked by other people. Success is a very personal thing. My definition will likely be quite different to yours.


Once we have decided what our own definition is then we can start working towards our own success. Until we do that we’re effectively lost either pursuing another person’s definition or drifting uncertainly without ultimate motivation. This can be a major cause of conflict and unease in our own mind, especially if we’re pursuing somebody else’s definition which we’re not actually in agreement with. For example many of us are working in jobs that we dislike in order to chase a materialistic version of success. Taking the time to examine whether this is what we really want or whether we just that haven’t questioned what we want may lead to all sorts of drastic changes in our lives.

Often by examining and defining our version of what success looks like we may realise we’re actually more successful than we have given ourselves credit for. Defining what we require to be successful may help us to identify and remove negative activities and influences from our life. It may well involve some discomfort. That’s ok. Personal growth happens outside of our comfort zone not inside. It’s easy to believe the commercial image of success and think that to be successful we need a big house, a flash car, gadgets and goods combined with a busy and stressful lifestyle that results in us spending our (limited) downtime watching our 50 inch plasma T.V.  Is that really our driver though? It’s fine if we consider and decide that it is, that we enjoy the cut and thrust of a high powered job and the pleasure that sitting in the car that we’ve earned gives. But it’s also fine if we consider and decide that our definition of success looks like spending as much time as possible with our children even if we earn a little less, or living in the countryside even if it means downsizing the house, or getting really, really good at playing an instrument even if it means we don’t have time to plough through Game of Thrones.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s