There are many aspects of success; material wealth is only one component.
Success also includes good health, energy, and enthusiasm for life,
fulfilling relationships, creative freedom, emotional and psychological stability,
a sense of well-being, and peace of mind.
— Deepak Chopra
What is a success to you? Is your level of success determined, in part or all, by others, including those who Love or respect you?
The media—including social media—sells us a version of what we have come to believe as success: wealth; fame; material possessions; a million dollar company; vacationing in exotic parts of the world; a glamorous or state-of-the-art home; property ownership; a large following; tons of friends; a familiar face; a confident persona; a recognizable brand. Many marketing pitches tag a well-known person or celebrity as the image of success.
None of these versions are, by definition, wrong, but if you have not achieved what is on the list, does that mean you are unsuccessful? If you have not achieved what is on the list, are you lazy, incompetent, or less valuable? Are you a loser? No, you are not!
We see people who seem to have everything associated with success and, yet they are miserable, or seem to be wearing a mask. We even see some commit suicide. It shocks us. We ask why? Didn’t they have it all? Were they not happy?
Perhaps they were not as happy as they wanted us to believe. Perhaps they pursued someone else’s dream life, someone else’s version of success. Perhaps, the success they have is not in alignment with their core values, their desires. Perhaps what they had to do to get there made them become someone who they never wanted to be? When they got to the top of the mountain, they discovered that they were just alone, high on a hill with lots of money, no genuine friends, and no joy. Perhaps they discovered they were living a lie and suddenly woke from the illusion of a life that was all created for the attention and approval of someone else. Perhaps the Love, recognition, support, or happiness they thought would make them feel better did not make them feel better after all. What happened? Where did they go wrong?
As children, tor teachers en-grain in us various definitions, examples, and expectations of success. We integrate those into our belief systems and live our entire lives by them: First place, or no place; Best in class, or no class; Biggest, strongest, fastest, or worthless. “My parents won’t be happy unless I’m a doctor.” Yet you secretly desire to be a painter. But what if they were all wrong?
Sometimes the wrong examples, expectations, or guidelines comes to us when we are young, and we do not understand how to direct our own desires and envision our own futures. We may live most, or all, of our lives in uncertainty about how to create our own success, and even how to be happy.
No one has the power to impose any definition or expectation of success on you, except you. Everyone looks at success through different lenses. You cannot measure my success by your success because we have walked two different roads, sought unique things, formed unique values, and taken unique journeys. It is important to understand that what makes someone you know happy might not make you happy, because you are as different as snowflakes. We find the path to success by asking ourselves, “What makes ME happy?” You can only define the definition of success for you based on what you want and see as a success, not what someone else sees or wants for you. A fascinating fact is some of the greatest successes resulted from the worst failures. Did You Know any of these interesting facts?
- They turned Walt Disney down over 300 times before a banker saw his vision of Disneyland
- Colonel Sanders started Kentucky Fried Chicken when he was in his 60s
- Michael Jordan was told he was too short to play basketball
- Abraham Lincoln lost his race for State Legislature.
- Lost his bid to become Speaker of the House.
- Lost his race for Congress.
- Lost his race for the US Senate, not once but twice.
- Lost the nomination of Vice President.
- Failed in business.
- All before becoming a sitting US President
It is essential to believe in our ability and right to experience a life that feels successful, whatever we want that to look and feel like. It is imperative to know that we are born to succeed in life. If we believe that we are not successful, based on comparing ourselves to someone else’s standards, goals, opinions, or achievements, we can never feel successful.
Ask yourself these questions and write the answers:
- Is my success defined by others’ opinions of me?
- Is my success defined by what others say about me?
- Is my success defined by how others feel about me?
- Is my success defined by how others treat or act around me?
- Is my success defined by what I have accomplished in life?
- Is my success defined by what I possess?
- Is my success defined by what trophies, awards, certificates, medals, and acknowledgments I have?
- Is my success defined by how much I can leave to my fans, followers, or admirers?
- What do I consider success for me, personally?
- In what ways have I designed my life?
- What things did I desire that I got or now have?
- In what areas have I achieved success?
- In what ways have I been successful?
- In what ways am I feeling success in my life?
- How does success feel to me?
- How do I continue to build on that?
- What have I learned about me from my successes?
- What have I learned about life from my successes?
One of my favorite authors, Jim Rohn, said, “If you don’t design your own life plan to be a success, chances are you will fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what someone else has planned for your success? Not much.”
If we don’t ask the hard questions, we might wind up climbing someone else’s ladder, or pursuing someone else’s version of success, only to find out later that we had the ladder leaned against the wrong building, or we used the wrong ladder, or we never needed a ladder to get what we wanted.
Success is not final; failure is not final. It is the courage to continue that counts.
How can you redefine your version of success, so you can achieve it?
Success starts with a prepared mindset. Start with what makes you YOU, and what brings you the most excitement, the most joy, and the deepest fulfillment.
- Start with what you already excel at, or have a tranquil time doing, or focus on when you do not even realize it. Take note on those things and determine where you want to go with them from there.
- Then make a realistic plan. Start small enough so it feels easy and good, and you know you can do it.
- Then expand your plan, keeping it aligned with your vision, who you believe you are, and what you hold as your truth.
- Get a mentor or guide. Find someone you see as having the version of success you desire and ask them to mentor or coach you. Most successful people genuinely want success for others and genuinely want to help.
- Remain clear, certain, and inspired enough that you stay focused and determined. Stay on your plan, no matter how slow, and do not quit until you get what you want.
- Ignore the naysayers and the distractions. Only surround yourself with believers, positive go-getters, and creative manifesters. Remember that words, and the beliefs behind words, are powerful creative energy. Whether you say you can, or you say you cannot, you are right.
You can tell the size of a person’s dream, by how little it takes to take it away.
— Joseph Binning
Do not wait for a more convenient, or proper time. There is no greater power than moving forward in the moment of the inspired desire. Do it when the energy is ripe, when the impulse hits you, when the match is hot. Do whatever it takes. It is your life. It is your dream. It is your desire. It is your success. Believe in it. Believe in YOU. You are the best investment you can ever invest in. Dream. Dream of a better YOU. Make your dream HUGE. Remember, you can tell the size of a person’s dream by how little it takes to take it away. Decide YOU are worth it. You deserve the best YOU. We deserve the best YOU. You are born to succeed because you are great!
Some of my favorite success quotes to inspire you:
Start where you stand, work with whatever tools you may have at your command,
and you will find better tools as you go along.
— Napoleon Hill
Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest steppingstones to success.
Try not to become a person of success, try rather to become a person of value.
Measure Success not so much by the position that one has reached in life
as by the obstacles which one has overcome while trying to succeed.
—Booker T. Washington
Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.
The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well.
—Henry W. Longfellow
I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs, but by how high he bounces when he hits bottom.
—George S. Patton
Success is a science; if you have the right conditions, you get the result.
Action is the foundational key to success.
Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.
—Henry David Thoreau
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.
Many of life’s failures stop people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
—Thomas A. Edison
Always remember your own resolution to success is more important than any other one thing.
The secret to success is to do the common thing uncommonly well.
—John D. Rockefeller Jr.
All successful men have agreed to one thing: they were causationists. They believed that things went not by luck, but by law; that there was not a weak, or a cracked link in the chain that joins the first and last of things.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
The secret of success is to know something nobody else knows.
Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to fulfilling of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them.