When is the last time you thought about what success means in your life? If it has been a while, now is a good time to revisit your definition or to define it for the first time. Knowing how you define success helps you clarify the direction you need to go to live a happy, fulfilled, and successful life.
Success means different things to different people. But, what does it mean to you? Some define it as money, power, and popularity. Others believe success is lifelong learning and growth or the achievement of goals. While some people see success as connecting deeply with the creative source inside of you.
Success is Personal – Make It Absolutely Your Own!
I read about one woman who when she thought about the word “success,” she imagined business suits and high-rise buildings, feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, driven by money, and having very little time for the things and the people she enjoyed. She said the thought of success made her sick to her stomach and wanting to crawl into a hole to hide. It’s no wonder she pushed against having a successful life because her definition of success wasn’t her own.
I believe we are meant to live successful lives, and defining success for yourself is the first step in creating a life that matches what is important to you! The danger in not defining success for yourself, is you may be living someone else’s. And, worse, you may work very hard to arrive at a destination only to discover it is the WRONG one for you!
Your Values are the Foundation of a Successful Life
To get started, you want to figure out what’s important to you. How often do we stop to think about what really matters most in our lives? I asked that question in One Degree Shift this month and one person replied, “Every month on our community calls.” I love her response, because it means at least once a month she stops to think about her priorities and can then evaluate how much time she spends on her priorities compared to less important things. That is a successful practice for creating a life that is aligned with your values… a life you love.
It is a good exercise to repeat every couple of years because our priorities change and our values shift as we move through life. By identifying our personal values, we can then determine whether we are living in a way that is consistent with them.
During our community call this month, I took members of One Degree Shift through a coaching exercise to help them sort out their top values. I encourage you to do the same and you can start by answering the following questions.
- What are your priorities at this point in your life?
- Which personal values are most in need of your attention?
- What are your non-negotiables – the things that you consider most important and would hold on to at all costs?
- What values are important to you but you would be willing to compromise in certain situations to make the more important things happen?
Once you identify your top values, take an honest look at how you’re living your life to see whether you are in harmony or out of balance. If there are inconsistencies, determine what changes you can make in your life to put the important things first.
Your Definition of Success Should Energize and Excite You
Next, keeping what’s most important in mind, think about how you define success. Remember, success is subjective – it doesn’t mean the same thing to everybody. So, make it your own! When you create your own definition of success, you will feel energized and excited about striving toward what you really want. Here are a few tips to help you create a definition that resonates with your inner guidance system.
- Focus on the internal indicators of success first, like creative freedom, confidence, happiness.
- Don’t make it only about externals like money and only material things.
- Focus on what you want, not what you think is possible.
- Think about what makes you happy, proud, fulfilled, and satisfied.
- Don’t judge what you come up with.
Complete this sentence: I know I am being successful when…
Test your definition to see if it feels right. Refine it until it reverberates within you. When you read it and your body feels relaxed, your mind is filled with excitement and hope, and you light up, you will have a winning definition of what success means to you.
What does success mean to you? Leave your personal definition of success in the comments below.
Join me and One Degree Shift and get coaching, support, and accountability to fulfill your definition of success. We have an exciting curriculum this year, all designed to help you live a happy, fulfilled, and successful life!