Ever since we were little we’ve been shown and told what success looks like. Usually it’s visual success, seeing what other people achieved and trying to get that in your life. When I think of visual success I think of the house, the car, the life, but more often than not what I see isn’t really a success I want. Through my experience I’ve learned that success is more than what I see, it’s also about how I feel about what I’m working towards and what I want in my life.
Definition of success
What if I asked you to define success right now? I think success is individual to everyone, but it follows a very basic definition of achievement of a desired result, outcome, gain in prosperity, or reaching a goal. It’s important to create your own definition of success because success is personal and pertains only to you, despite what we’ve been taught. Defining success starts with the following questions:
- What does success mean to you?
- What does success look like?
- How would you define it?
- How would you know if you hit your mark?
Seeing success is how we define success in terms of what we see, and what we showcase to other people. Looking at what type of house someone lives in may be a good way to decide if you think that person is successful, but that’s a very small part of his or her life. Often we look at celebrities and see huge houses and think they’re happy, pampered, and rolling in money, but if we look at their lives they might see success as writing new music, getting a lead role, or producing their own work. How do you want your success to look, both to yourself and to others? Remember that success can be big or small, reaching small goals like maintaining your house, or big goals like building your own house. And success reaches into all aspects of your life.
Another large part of success that is often overlooked is what success feels like. Going back to my example of celebrities’ houses, we think about their big house and think they have tons of money and people to take care of everything, but we don’t think about what it feels like to actually live in that house. Maybe they have tons of bills and need to work long hours to keep it up. Maybe they are feeling isolated and lonely, or stressed and wishing they had more time with their family. My point here is that just because we see something we think is great, that doesn’t mean it’s going to feel great in your life. You have to think about what you want to feel when you reach your goals and when you find success. If you’d like to feel peaceful then you need to keep that in mind when you create your definition of success. How you feel throughout your life is far more important than what you show to others. Remember that success is individual and very personal. It’s all about what you want and how you want to feel, not what other people have, don’t have, see, or don’t see about you.
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