You’ve likely experienced the conflict that comes when someone tries to restrain you to their definition of success. Maybe it was a parent who was determined for you to be a doctor. Maybe it was a TV show that promised happiness with a makeover and a new boy toy. These things rub us the wrong way because living by someone else’s definition of success isn’t fulfilling.
To reach our potential and live a life that we love, we must make our own definitions of success. Years ago, you were successful if you held a 9-5 job and slowly rose through the ranks. Today, things are different. People are beginning to create their own definition of success and live a life that’s most true to them. So how do you do it?
To create a definition of success that makes you happy, think about what you love and dream about. This may seem simple because we’re often told what we’re supposed to want. The big house. The fancy car. The corporate job. Is that really what feels best to you? Your definition of success might include the ability to be nomadic and travel the world. It might be dedicating your life to a certain cause or simply doing what you love every day around the people you love. It doesn’t have to be a big crazy dream, just an ideal life that feels right to you.
It’s certainly easy to come up with a definition of success that will make you feel content. You know the one where you know you can accomplish it. There’s no risk and no great reward. You’re also not learning as much as you could be if you really pushed yourself. Sure there’s a risk that you’ll fail with a massive goal, but either way, you’ll learn something. And that’s really why we’re here anyway.
Once you’ve decided what kind of life you want to live and what success in that life means to you, it’s time to start living it! There’s little need to wait years and years until the right time. My favorite thing to do to figure out how to achieve the success you desire is to describe what I want to accomplish years down the road, and then work back to my daily life and see what things I can do every day to accomplish my goals. For me, this includes spending quality time with my loved ones, working on my book, and putting together plans for travel.
Once you’ve decided how you’re going to reach success, it’s a good idea to step back every now and then and evaluate how you’re doing. Are you able to keep up your habits each day? Is there a new goal you’d like to add? Is something not working out for you? You don’t have to wait until New Year’s to look back at your progress and set new goals.
Brainstorm what success means to you and share your ideas with us in the comments below!