Defining Your Personal Version of Success

Defining Your Personal Version of Success
Photo Credit: ekinyalgin/

How Do You Define Personal Success?

Success means different things to different people and can be measured in a myriad of ways depending on the circumstances. Typically, success can be categorized by a combination of high levels of wealth, respect, or fame, but the definition never really ends there.

Recognizing your core beliefs and values will often reveal to you your own personal path to success. It’s important not to get bogged down by the details of another’s success, for we all have our own journeys to live and paths to success. So how can you define success for yourself?

Goals and Accomplishments

Once you truly know and understand what your values are, you can go about setting goals for yourself. What do you want to do with your life and how do you want to get there?

Goals help us navigate through life and are a means of measuring accomplishments. Not only are you getting things done, reaching a goal has the added benefit of making you feel good, at least temporarily.

A series of accomplishments ultimately will lead to a desired outcome, typically success of some kind. For example, if you always meet deadlines at work, getting things done early, and regularly going above and beyond the normal duties of your job description, you are likely meeting personal goals, which are equally a series of accomplishments.

Perhaps you received a raise for your performance, or you were chosen to lead a high profile project, or were even promoted — all of these things are in turn leading up to success, which is essentially your end game and ultimate goal in the situation.

Balancing Work and Play

As Jack Torrance says in Stephen King’s The Shining, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Even workaholics need a rest every once in awhile, otherwise they burn out and are of no use to anyone.

Finding a healthy balance between work and play can often be a deciding factor in someone’s success.

While ambition is healthy and certainly helpful on the way to success, it should not come at the expense of your health and well being. It’s important to step back for a breather along the way, which will allow you to gain a new perspective on your work and accomplishments.

Play and relaxation are essential to the life of a creative person and will often be the source of a new idea or solution that contributes to personal success.

Enjoying the Journey, Not Just the Destination

It’s easy to lose sight of the little things when you’re focused on a larger goal; however, stopping to smell the roses once in awhile will remind you why you’re chasing that goal in the first place. In order to do what you love, you must love what you’re doing.

In other words, use as much of your time as you can to actively participate in activities that are enriching your life, not eating up your time. Practicing mindfulness and gratitude are also great ways to realize the importance of a moment, which will eventually reveal its true teachings on a larger scale.

Be a Student of Life

Speaking of teachings, life is the best teacher of all. Learning from your mistakes and celebrating small victories will also give you the courage you need to persevere and face whatever life throws at you.

People are imperfect and make mistakes, but it’s important to remember that life is full of constant growth and change. Successful people acknowledge they don’t know everything, but devote themselves to learning everything they can about what they love and want to pursue.

Not Giving Up

There’s a famous quote by businessman and presidential candidate, Donald Trump: “Sheer persistence is the difference between success and failure.” Even Trump has had a series of failed businesses and botched business deals, but yet he is still a multi-billionaire.

If he had stopped at the first sign of failure, he’d never be where he is today.

Lots of people will love to tell you ‘no’ in your life — family, friends, loan officers, employers — but don’t let that stop you on your way to the top. They may think they know better, but their truth may not be your own.

Ultimately, you are the master of your own destiny, so pick yourself back up and keep on going.