What is SUCCESS.....
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19 Definitions Of Success You Should Never Ignore
Missy is a business owner and writes about everyday lifestyle tips on Lifehack. Read full profile
What is success?
Is it wealth? Is it happiness? Webster’s dictionary has three definitions:
- The fact of getting or achieving wealth respect or fame.
- The correct or desired result of an attempt.
- Someone or something that is successful: a person or thing that succeeds.
The late Zig Ziglar was one of the most respected modern day experts on success, motivation, and leading a balanced life. In his book Born to Win!, he argues that success cannot be defined in one sentence, but instead it is comprised of many things. One could argue that the definition depends on the individual and one size does not fit all.
Here are 20 new definitions of success, find your own success definition and create meaning for your life:
1. Success is always doing your best.
Success can be achieved when you try your best in all aspects of everything you do.
2. Success is properly setting concrete goals.
Be realistic and concrete when setting goals. Success does not come from setting abstract goals.
3. Success is having a place to call home.
Home is where your heart soars. You are always successful when you can call a place home.
4. Success is understanding the difference between need and want.
If you can meet your monthly obligations and fulfill your basic needs, you are successful.
5. Success is believing you can.
If you believe you can, you will succeed.
6. Success is remembering to balance work with passion.
Work without passion creates undue stress and empty achievements. Focus on what excites you.
7. Success is taking care of your needs.
Remember to put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.
8. Success is learning that you sometimes have to say no.
Success only comes with a balanced life. Part of balance is learning to say no.
9. Success is knowing your life is filled with abundance.
Love, health, friends, family… life is filled with abundance.
10. Success is understanding you cannot keep what you don’t give away.
You will only succeed if you help others succeed.
11. Success is overcoming fear.
Conquering a fear makes you feel invincible. No one can stop you now.
12. Success is learning something new each day.
Successful people understand learning never stops.
13. Success is learning that losing a few battles can help you win a war.
Successful people choose their battles wisely.
14. Success is loving and being loved back.
Unconditional love is the best!
15. Success is standing your ground when you believe in something.
Successful people never give up on things they believe with all their heart.
16. Success is not giving up.
Perseverance creates grit, grit achieves success
17. Success is celebrating small victories.
Anytime a goal is reached or an obstacle is overcome, take time to celebrate.
18. Success is never letting a disability hold you back.
Disabilities do not define a person’s success. The body and mind will compensate.
19. Success is understanding you control your destiny.
Your destiny is controlled by you and you alone.
Success can be defined in many ways. I think we accomplish success when at the end of a day we can say… this was a good day. I look forward to doing it again tomorrow.
More About Success
- 15 Inspiring Ideas to Boost Your Motivation for Success
- How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People
- 3 Keys to Success in Life (That Will Change You This Year)
Life Is Like A Day In An Amusement Park — A Lesson Learned Too Late
At the end of that day, we all have to leave the park.
No one is exempt from that.
We all die sooner or later, and, until then, we are stuck in this park for better or for worse.
This park is filled with rides, thrills, chills, horror rides, exciting rides, and very relaxing rides.
We have an entire day to spend here in whatever form we see fit!
This park is gigantic and it is all ours to explore!
And while the world is filled to the brim with a variety of rides and experiences to make, most of us go through complaining about every little thing.
We complain about the long lines, the expensive food, and the rides that we deem not worth the wait.
We complain about there being too much sun or too little, of rides being too exciting or too boring, and complain about every person in the park.
The thing is, none of that will make the rides more fun or the people nicer, and it definitely will not give us more time in this park.
We will still only have this one day, so why waste it being so negative?
We can choose, at any point in time, to enjoy where we are or to hate it.
We can choose to throw our hands in the air at every ride or to go at it all with a frown on our faces.
This is as true for the park, as it is for life!
The lesson here is that Life only has to be as serious as we make it out to be!
No matter what we do, we have to leave this life sooner or later, so we might as well enjoy it while we can!
And yes, some rides will be awful.
They will be scary, fast, and will go down far further than they go back up.
We will be thrown for a loop, go up and down, around and around and around, and our heads might spin so much that we puke from all the stress.
There will be long waits for these parts of life, and sometimes the price we pay to go on those rides or to enter that part of our life will be way too high.
These rides do exist and nothing we do will stop them entirely, because we cannot see what the ride of life may be like, unlike those at the amusement park.
Nevertheless, the day at this amusement park can be incredibly fun!
It can be enticing, exciting and we can choose to love the thrill of it all.
When the rides go down we can throw our hands up in the air and when things throw us for a loop we can scream in terrified joy!
Our heart will pound at times of stress, sometimes we will want to leave, but whether or not we enjoy those rides is still up to us to decide!
We can let the rides take over and be completely stuck to them, believing they own our lives, or we can pick our favorites, go on those rides time and time again and enjoy the experiences knowing that it is just a ride.
Every ride will end.
That may be sad for the fun ones, but it is also good news for the scary ones.
No ride will last forever, so we might as well enjoy it for what it is.
This is the exact same way we can treat our life as well.
In life, we will encounter some scary situations.
We will be thrown for a loop, our life will go downhill more than it will go up and it sometimes seems to hit us all at once.
Sometimes we feel like we are going in circles and other times we feel so much stress that we just want to throw up.
We have to work hard for some of the goals and there is always a price to pay for everything we do.
But nonetheless, life can be fun!
We can enjoy the downhill moments in our life and throw our hands up in the air as our life turns to crap because it’s nothing we cannot handle.
We can get excited for each and every day, or we can cling onto our seat and complain about the day ahead, but either way, the day will still happen, time will still pass, and the rides we go in is still our choice to make, just like which mental rides we take and which actions we take throughout the day.
The point is that no matter which option we choose, we still have to spend this day at the amusement park; we still have this life to live.
We are alive right now, right here, in this world as it is, for better or for worse.
We experience the situations we experience and we cannot change what happens to us.
But what we can change is how we react to life, what rides we choose to go on and how much fun we have on those.
How we live our day at this amusement park is on us.
25 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Was 25
Maybe you can avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made
- Love songs are wonderful to listen to, but many of the people who write these beautiful songs are bad partners. They go through nasty divorces and bitter breakups. Feeling the way they do in love songs doesn’t mean your relationship is good for you.
- If you have a wave of…
- As a follow-on to the previous point, use your rational mind as your primary method for making decisions, not your emotions. Judge situations based on what the facts indicate, not based on how they make you feel. Learn to think rationally. Learn to spot cognitive biases. Learn when to disregard your emotions as unreliable.
- Life is far more unpredictable than you’ve been led to believe. Everyone’s plans for the future are little more than hopes. Work so hard your knees will buckle, but don’t get attached to any particular outcome. Even if the outcome is good, which isn’t guaranteed, it certainly won’t be in a form you expected.
- There is far less valuable knowledge in the world than the internet makes you think. Most of the advancements of most fields of science can be summarized in a few dense books. Block the endless deluge of pointless information in the modern world and focus on high-quality information only.
- Get a therapist the first time you have symptoms of mental health problems. You know in your heart there’s something wrong with you, even though everyone dismisses you and tells you you’re too young to know any better. By the time you’re old enough for anyone to take you seriously, you’ll have endured unspeakable suffering. Don’t wait that long.
- Rape, assault, drug addiction, violent crime, and other dangerous situations are not the fictions of faraway bad places. They are real and they are close. At any moment, you are only a few bad decisions away from them. You can easily accidentally destroy your life with one foolish indulgence. Make good decisions.
- You are not that smart. Also, you are painfully ignorant. Read a book.
- People are like natural phenomena. They will say what they want and do what they want and they will not take you into account. You can try to understand, and sometimes you will, but many times you won’t. You will feel at the mercy of those around you. You will be hurt. There are many things you could do to keep it from happening, but all of them are bad. Acceptance is better. People are good enough as they are right now, even when they’re hurting you.
- You are not living in the miserable “prologue” section on the Wikipedia page of your wildly successful future. You are just not doing well in life, period.
- Get comfortable with intense exercise. If you don’t, you’ll get old and tired alarmingly quickly.
- You can’t make new old friends. Take care of the friendships in your life. If something’s bothering you, don’t run away. Talk about it.
- Doctors have no idea what they’re talking about half the time, it’s true. But “alternative medicine” never does at all. Look for scientifically accepted treatments, not blogger mom ones. Again, read a book.
- Learn to love cooking. People who love cooking eat much healthier and cheaper over their lifespan.
- Silly health claims like “eat healthier over your lifespan” and “less fatigue” disguise some of the biggest gifts life can ever give you. Treat the health impacts of your choices with life-or-death seriousness.
- Being poor is not fun. It’s not terrible, but it’s far less fun than being rich. Get some money.
- You don’t need the top-end MacBook Pro. Or the newest iPhone. Or the newest iPad. Your Macbook Pro will last a lot longer than you expect. The amount of money you can save by not buying these things will pay for retirement. In general, strive to always buy the base model of expensive technology. You won’t ever need the extra memory.
- On a related note, always buy knockoffs when you can. Get those grocery-store checkout line knockoff AirPods. They will work just as well at a fraction of the price. (Invest the savings into retirement).
- Don’t make shopping a hobby. It’s an expensive hobby, and it teaches you to soothe emotional pain by spending money. One day you will need to soothe emotional pain and you won’t have any money to do it with. Then you’ll be hosed. It also teaches you to value meaningless things like “brands” and “fashion,” and you’ll use these meaningless things to make important decisions in your life, like who to love. You’ll make terrible decisions. Then you’ll really be hosed.
- Hiking is a great hobby. Walking is a time-consuming but incredibly effective exercise method. Walking can be done anywhere, anytime, but hiking is the most entertaining version of walking. Hiking is best enjoyed on warm summer days in state parks with several friends in tow.
- Your solopreneur growth is not unusually, painfully slow because there’s something more you need to know about business. It’s because there’s something emotionally holding you back. Put down the business book, pick up a self-help book, and get a therapist.
- Get good sleep. You already know this. Act on it.
- You have to let go of your dream that someone will love the pain away. You will destroy your life clinging to that fantasy. The feeling you get when someone loves the pain away temporarily is not love, it’s a high. I don’t know if I know what true love feels like, but it certainly doesn’t feel like that.
- Nothing is what you think it is. You are blind to the most important elements in every situation. Learn to ask yourself “What huge thing am I missing?” every time you feel you understand something. You will get stuck far less in life.
- Things don’t get better on their own. You have to make them better.
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5 Things Highly Resilient People Do Consistently
Let them be our teachers.
Resilience is on everyone’s wish-list — or it should be.
Especially now, when the world is struggling back from a pandemic and all it brought with it. Especially in times of fear, uncertainty and constant change.
So if you only have one psychological goal for yourself, choose the one that will serve you best throughout your life — resilience.
And throw the book at it to learn all the skills you can.
There’s a flood of information out there on how to build resilience.
But there’s an easy way to do it — and that’s to tap into the tools others have already used. and mould them to your own circumstances.
To watch how highly resilient people playing the game.
Not just once, but over and over again.
Let’s take a look.
You’re Not a Rubber Ball — But You Already Knew That
Resilience is not, as is commonly thought, the ability to “bounce back” from life’s difficulties — trauma, tragedy, failure and disappointment.
You shouldn’t expect that of yourself.
You’re not a ball.
You don’t have to be.
Resilience is about acknowledging your pain and suffering, facing it with ordinary levels of courage — and maybe, eventually, to find meaning it. Or not.
Suffering doesn't always hand out lessons.
It just is.
Some people are more resilient than others due to their parenting, early environments, life circumstances and the things that happened to them — or did not happen.
And some people are held back by all of the same things.
Often we don’t find out how resilient we are until we’re called to the test.
But it pays to be aware of what-not-to-do.
5 Things Highly Resilient People Do Consistently
“Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.” — Angela Duckworth
1. They merge their thoughts and feelings.
Highly resilient people are skilled self-analysts
. They don’t believe everything they think and they don’t worship at the temple of their own feelings. Nor do they rush to act impulsively.
Most of us rush to act on what we’re thinking and feeling.
We totally buy into what’s going on for US.
Highly resilient people aren’t so hasty.
They know our thoughts and feelings can play tricks on us in times of high stress.
Instead, they step back and observe themselves.
They analyse the contents of their minds and hearts accurately, using that information to govern their decisions and take action.
2. They feel fear, but they don’t live in its shadow.
Highly resilient people have normal human worries and vulnerabilities.
But when they feel afraid they don’t allow those fears to sweep through all aspects of their lives.
They don’t allow those fears to back them up against a wall, to keep them hostage.
They don’t catastrophise (rush to the worst possible scenario) or globalise (after a setback make broad negative statements about themselves or their lives).
Instead they identify specifically what they are worried about and take time to “sit with” any difficult feelings before moving into problem-solving mode.
3. They let go what’s uncontrollable — quickly.
We all know we’re not supposed to focus on the things we can’t control — like the weather, climate change, traumatic global events, a stubborn pandemic, the fact that some people will never get vaxxed for their own reasons.
And that some of those people may be your friends.
Many people get stuck on “stuff” and people they have no influence over.
They mistakenly believe a rant will change things.
They (often mistakenly) believe they are right.
And, even if they are, they forget that other people have just as much right to see the world differently.
Highly resilient people get that.
They know that dwelling on all of life’s uncontrollables will make them sad, bad, maybe mad.
So they let it go. And they put their energy where it counts.
4. They understand “the dance”.
Highly resilient people understand life’s a dance.
’s not about being “tough” or “stoic” in the face of challenge— it’s about moving to the emotional beat of whatever is happening at the time.
And that means being able to experience and balance negative emotion with positive
Resilient people rate positive feelings as highly as negative ones. They know they can exist alongside each other.
know how to dance.
5. They keep faith in tomorrow.
This is the toughest, right now.
If you allow your mind off its leash, you can come up with some pretty unattractive scenarios for the future of the world, of the planet.
You can take bleak to a whole new level.
Trouble is, locking in on a bleak future makes the present intolerable.
And that has nasty implications for our mental health and wellbeing.
Highly resilient people are aware of the big picture, and do what they can to influence it, but they know all of life really exists in the moment.
That there are still good, even great, moments to be had, right here, right now
And they are genius at finding them.
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3 Tools That Improved My Life by 65%
I know because I tracked my progress in living my life with full intention
When I packed my backpack and set off for a solo trip to Southeast Asia Eat Pray Love style, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
All I knew was that I was deeply unhappy and unfulfilled by my life and work, and I wanted to find something else.
I was seeking major change.
And the only place I knew to find it was outside of my habitual, day-to-day life on the other side of the planet.
Little did I know that what would change everything for me was a simple exercise delivered in a three-pronged folder.
It was day one of a personal growth and development workshop in Ubud, Bali.
The first order of business was to complete a reflection exercise handed out by the group leader while we sipped on local fresh juice in the heart of the jungle.
The questions went a little something like this…
Reflecting on the last year, what are you most proud of?
What did you achieve in the last year? How did you grow?
What relationships did you develop and strengthen?
Dozens of questions later, I was in tears.
I didn’t have a response to most of these questions.
Last year, and all the years before that, had been a blur of eating, drinking, working, sleeping, and binge-watching TV on repeat.
Going through the exercise of sitting with these simple questions had broken me.
I became so acutely aware of how I was wasting my life, and I suddenly realized that it was no wonder I was so unhappy and unfulfilled.
I wasn’t living my life with intention.
I was just going through the motions
The rest of my trip was filled with other exercises and tools that helped me build myself back up.
The reflection could feel painful, sure, but setting intentions for the future felt remarkably empowering.
This trip was three years ago.
At the time, I was clinically depressed, chronically ill, burned out from a high-level corporate job, and felt deeply alone even when surrounded by people.
Today, I’m a digital nomad and six-figure business coach living in total alignment with what I want in life
I am happier and healthier than I ever thought was possible.
There have been many contributors to my transformation, but these tools and exercises were the catalysts for change, and they continue to help me grow.
Here are the three that have had the most profound impact on my life.
1) The Wheel of Life
The Wheel of Life is a tool used to provide a 360-degree evaluation of your fulfillment in life.
By ranking each area of your life on a 0–10 scale and creating a visualization of these rankings, you’ll be able to view your overall fulfillment in a striking way.
When I completed my first Wheel of Life, the results were dreary at best.
My average score in each area was barely a five out of ten, with an alarming number of rankings below five.
I now update my Wheel around New Year’s Eve every year.
It can be difficult to recognize the overall progress made over time, so I find checking in with this exercise helpful in displaying just how far I’ve come in all areas of my life.
In fact, I was stunned to realize that in my first annual reassessment, I had improved my Wheel of Life by 40%.
My average score had gone from a 5 to a 7. My most recent score since my initial Wheel had improved by 65%, for a new average of 8.25.
Sure, I’ve felt the transformation and feel happier and more fulfilled than ever before.
But something about seeing the progress grounded in this annual check-in has helped me completely acknowledge my power to change my life.
Benefits of the Wheel of Life:
Brings awareness to the parts of your life that are and aren’t fulfilling you.
Causes you to consider what a 10 looks like for you in all areas of life.
Inspires change in the areas where you are unfulfilled.
Helps you gain a big-picture view of where you’re at and where you want to be.
Here are the steps to complete a Wheel of Life of your own.
- Choose your categories
You’ll find Wheels containing a variety of life areas to choose from, and no two are alike. I use the following categories.
2. Rank each on a scale of 1 through 10
1 = You have nothing you want in this area.
10 = You have everything you desire in this area.
3. Create your ranking visualization
You can do either a pie-style wheel or a spider-web-style wheel to display your overall results.
This visualization helps ground you in where you’re at in life compared to where you’d like to be.
4. Practice gratitude for all the fulfillment in your life
Take note of all the high scores and everything wonderful you have in your life.
5. Make a plan to improve your Wheel of Life
For any areas that received a lower ranking than what you’d like, identify three actions you can take to improve your level of fulfillment and get closer to what you truly want.
2) The Stoplight
This three-part exercise works like a spring cleaning for your entire life.
The first time I completed the Stoplight, I identified four “reds,” or things that didn’t feel aligned for me.
Over the next year, I was able to liberate myself from those four parts of my life that didn’t feel good. The impact on my overall happiness and sense of fulfillment since then has been extraordinary.
Benefits of The Stoplight
Become aware of all that you love in life, and whether you’re making enough time for them.
Identify and make decisions on any draining maybes in your life.
Reduce and remove as many depleting and misaligned parts of your life to free up more space for what lights you up.
Here’s how you complete the exercise.
Open a note on your device or grab a pen and paper. Create 3 lists: Green, Yellow, and Red.
Green = Yes
Yellow = Maybe
Red = No
2. Make Your List
Categorize the parts of your life that you spend your precious time, energy, or resources on into one of the three buckets.
This includes your life’s prominent people, things, habits, behaviors, experiences, environments, and situations.
3. Lean into Green’s
Add all the things that are a hell yes for you here, even if you aren’t making space for them right now.
This includes the things that fill up your cup, make you happy, and light you up.
Notice how much of your Yes list is present in your life.
This is the bucket you want to have most present in your life to be in alignment.
4. Eliminate Yellow’s
These maybes are the most draining of all because we tend to use a lot of mental and emotional energy flip-flopping on them.
A long list of uncategorized Yellows can completely deplete us.
Deep down, we know which category they belong in, but for one reason or another, we haven’t made the decision that’s in alignment with our truth.
This is the bucket we want to eliminate by using our power of choice.
We want to move each of these items to Green or Red.
Note that the Red can be “not right now.”
5. Reduce or Remove Red’s
Our “no” list drains our energy more than it adds, constricts us, and makes us feel out of alignment. The truth is, we’ll likely always have small things in the Red (paying bills, going to the dentist, and hitting traffic, anyone?).
Our power lies in how small we can make this list to free up time for our aligned Green list.
This is the bucket we want to make as small as possible. By recognizing our power to remove, reduce, or mitigate each of them.
It’s quite simple when you break it down
. Bring more into your life that lights you up.
Decide on what you’re unsure about and follow through on those decisions
And reduce or remove the things that don’t feel in alignment for you.
3) The Bucket List
This is a well-known tool, but how many people actually have a regularly updated Bucket List of their own?
When I made my first Bucket List over a decade ago, it was filled with a list of experiences and possessions that one could expect, like going skydiving, being a millionaire, and traveling the world.
When I remade my Bucket List recently, something surprising happened.
Instead of a list of things to possess or achieve in life, I ended up with a list of 44 things I wanted to experience.
Suddenly, I knew that fulfillment in my life would come from creating these experiences for myself, instead of seeking fulfillment in collecting things or achieving common life milestones.
After I completed this list I had a very clear vision of what I wanted out of life.
I reread this list regularly to remind myself why I’m here and what I’m here to do.
You’re sure to gain insight into your vision for your future, whether you choose to include experiences, achievements, and/or possessions on your list (why not all of it!).
Benefits of a Bucket List
Give thought to what is most meaningful to you in life.
Consider what you want in life that you haven’t yet gained or experienced.
Keep yourself on track over time by reminding yourself of your vision for your life.
The instructions are simple.
Write a list of everything you’d love for your life to include and how you want to fully live your life.
Did any of these exercises help you gain awareness or insight that you didn’t have before?
Did it help you become motivated for change? Send a web mail is it did, you matter, i want tomow
Quit Entering Races You Can’t Win
What happens when you admit you’re far, far away from the finish line
I recently bid farewell to my therapist who is retiring.
As we looked back on our five years of on-and-off sessions, I came upon a theme that summed up our work together: I no longer enter races that I can’t win.
In my own life, my habit of entering such races was a badge of honor.
I was a perfectionist, an overachiever, a person who thought she could outsmart the whims of the universe if she just planned, organized, and worked hard enough.
I did this in my work life, in my relationships, and even with tasks as mundane as household chores.
Indeed, life is full of these kinds of races:
- Trying doggedly to fix a relationship with a person who has no interest in personal growth, emotional honesty, or an acceptance of the fact that long-term, meaningful relationships take work.
- Trying to keep the natural (and beautiful) process of aging at bay in a culture that prizes newness and youth.
- Resolving to take a day off or a vacation once you’ve reached the bottom of your to-do list, despite your creeping sense of dread that there is no bottom.
- Climbing the ladder of professional career success, certain that the next promotion/milestone/achievement will be the one where you feel like “you’ve arrived,” but never seeming to get there. You keep going anyway.
- Trying to always say the right, perfect thing online when the right, perfect thing to say changes by the moment.
Like most things you learn in therapy, I learned that this habit of mine was rooted in emotional truths I’d learned as a kid. But it was a tendency that no longer served me.
As a kid, it may have briefly kept me safe, but as an adult, it left me feeling burned out, unwell, anxious, and unhappy.
Exactly how you’d feel if, say, you were about to finish first place in a marathon and were told, actually, you need to run 6 miles more, faster than you ever have before, to prove you’ve really won. I felt like that every day.
The race metaphor is a particularly fitting one for me because I used to be a competitive runner.
In those days, even a training run would be treated with the utmost seriousness; having to stop to tie a shoe would make me feel like the whole run had somehow been a “cheat.”
I was running for metrics, achievements, miles logged, and calories burned.
But these days, if and when I manage to lace up my running shoes, the experience is different.
I often stop to notice the way the light is filtering through the trees or take some deep breaths, or I simply decide to turn my run into a walk if I am feeling less energetic than I thought.
I run for the ride, the air in my lungs, and the rhythm of my feet hitting the ground — not the win at the end.
There is tremendous liberation in finding the places in your life you can’t win.
Sometimes, the solution is simple: Drop out of the race.
That might look like ending the relationship where you do all the work or quitting the job that is completely incompatible with maintaining any semblance of mental health.
Other times, you can’t drop out of the race.
Maybe it’s keeping up with the dishes, the laundry, the things in your house that need fixing.
Or the wholly under-appreciated amount of work involved in just being a law-abiding, tax-paying, voting citizen who remembers when the trash gets collected.
In those latter cases, even though you can’t drop out, a mindset shift occurs when you realize you can’t actually win.
You can slow down, laugh at the folly of it all, take a day off even though you’re far, far from the finish line.
You may still have to run in the race, but when you don’t care about winning it, you can enjoy the view along the way.
We all want success. We want to be successful and feel successful.
We chase money, fame, power, education, relationships and a thousand other things without ever stopping to ask one essential question:
What, actually, is success?
Few people pause to consider what it truly means to achieve success in their own lives. As Jim Rohn said, “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”
If we don’t answer this question, we can end up climbing the wrong ladder and pursue someone else’s version of success. We get to the top only to discover we climbed the wrong mountain. We achieve our goals only to realize they were the wrong ones. It’s a disaster few people are able to recover from.
In Office Space, Michael Gibbons says to his doctor, “So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that’s on the worst day of my life.”
How do we avoid a similar fate?
Those who have achieved the greatest amounts of actual success are those who are crystal clear on what it means to reach the top, for them. If we want to follow in their steps, we must achieve equal clarity.
Before we can pursue success, we need to understand what success isn’t. If you spend just a few minutes on social media, you’ll realize how many people hold a very narrow definition of success. They think it’s about building wealth, having the perfect relationship, launching a billion-dollar business or amassing a large social media following. And a lot of times, they attach famous people to their image of success.
None of these things or people is wrong, but being like them doesn’t necessarily make you successful. Many people have fought and struggled to the top only to feel miserable and burned out once they get there. They’re unhappy because they pursued the wrong definition of success—one that didn’t match their values.
Throughout childhood and early adulthood, we learn various ideas of success from our parents, teachers and friends. Everyone has their own agenda and idea of who and what we should be. Although it’s OK to value the opinions and hopes of others, we shouldn’t necessarily adopt them as our own. No one can impose their version of success on us. No one can tell us what it means to live the good life.
It’s easy to assume that success means obtaining a specific object, such as a job or social status, and to believe that if we get that thing, we’ll be successful. But some of the greatest successes resulted from the worst failures. Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”
For example, before becoming a U.S. president, Abraham Lincoln…
…was defeated for the State Legislature.
…failed in business.
…was defeated for Speaker of the House.
…was defeated for Congress.
…was defeated for the U.S. Senate.
…was defeated for nomination as vice president.
…was defeated again for the U.S. Senate.
If we rest our definition of success on one or two achievements, there’s a good chance we’ll be disappointed.
We must set our goals, objectives and trajectories based on what we desire, not what someone else wants for us.
Some people find that helping people brings them the most joy, and therefore success looks like a life given to others. Some realize that building a business or product brings them happiness. Some prefer isolation and others prefer constant activity.
The simple yet profound truth is that what makes me happy doesn’t make someone else happy, and vice versa. My vision of success probably looks nothing like yours, and that’s how it should be.
If we fail to define success for ourselves and try to pursue someone else’s path, we’ll end up frustrated, unhappy and ultimately feeling deeply unsuccessful. Bruce Lee said, “Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself; do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”
The path to success begins by asking yourself, What makes me happy?
It’s also essential to understand that in many ways, we already are successful. If we assume that we are failures until we reach a specific goal, we will never be happy. We have to recognize all we have already accomplished.
- Where have I already seen success in my life?
- How can I continue building on that success?
- What lessons have I learned from those successes?
- What have I learned about myself from those areas?
Success is both a goal and a journey. When we reach certain milestones, that is an element of success. But we don’t stop there. We push higher and harder, striving for more and to bet better.
Tony Robbins says, “The path to success is to take massive, determined action.” But how do we find our path? What steps do we take to achieve true success?
We must be able to clearly answer several laser-specific questions:
- What truly matters to me?
- What are the things that set me on fire with passion?
- What do I want to make of my life?
- What lifestyle do I want to achieve?
- Who do I want to be?
- What do I want people to say about me after I die?
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The answers to these questions must be ultra-specific. It’s not enough to say, What really matters to me is happiness. If you can’t see clearly, you won’t really know what that means, or what you’re doing or where you’re going. The same is true of your vision of success.
But before you can begin moving forward, you must assess where you’re at now. This is a time for honest evaluation, not rose-colored glasses. Where are you currently successful? Where do you need to grow? What are your weaknesses and strengths? Try bringing in a friend or colleague to act as a real and unbiased sounding board.
After that, it’s time to set some specific goals. These goals should be achievable and concrete, but still challenging. Your goals should also be measurable. Say you want to read more to be successful; set a goal of 50 books per year, not just “read more.”
If you don’t define success, someone else will define it for you. What mountain are you climbing? Is it the right one? Or are you going to reach the summit and see your mountain off in the distance?
Start on the right path today.
What is The Real Meaning of Success in Life? And How to Define It
So, have you pondered about it?
What is the real meaning of success in life?
What do you really want to achieve? What kind of life are you looking forward to living?
Most people have no idea exactly what they want to achieve in their lives.
Most people are influenced by other people and they are often affected by the media to believe that being successful means living an extravagant lifestyle.
And usually, most people think that success equals rich.
While it is true that financial success is an important part, it is not the main factor that defines your success.
In a simple term, this is what success really means:
“Success is the status of having achieved and accomplished an aim, objective, or goal.”
In other words, success is having achieved what you want in your life. It’s that simple and you don’t have to make it complicated.
You set a goal or an objective and then you achieve it, that’s a success.
Everyone Has a Different Definition for Success
The interesting thing to note is that everyone has a different meaning for success.
Ask someone young who is around age 30 and they will tell you they want to be financially successful. Money is their main priority and they are willing to sacrifice other areas of their lives to gain more monetary success.
Ask someone who is around age 50 and they will probably tell you they want a better relationship with their family.
They seem to want to spend more time with people that they cared for and loved and they don’t really care about if they are driving a luxury car or just an affordable one.
Ask someone who is at age 70 and they will tell you they want more time and health.
They probably don’t care about being financially successful or how much they earn per month anymore.
As you can see, everyone’s definition of success is different.
Some people want to be financially successful and they want to earn $1 million dollars a month, while some want to earn $10,000 a month and living comfortably without having to manage a big company or business.
The key is to understand what you really want out of your life, for now.
Your definition of success can change according to your age and your life circumstances.
Regardless of it, if you want to achieve success in life, you must be absolutely clear about what you want.
You need to define the success you desire before you can achieve it.
- Stop living life like a lost sheep.
- Stop following wherever the crowd is going.
- And stop living other people’s lives.
The first step to achieving the success you want is to find out exactly what you want to achieve.
Why You Need to Define Your Success
One of the most common reasons people fail to achieve what they want in life is because they have no idea what they truly want to achieve in their lives.
This is crucial because you simply can’t hit a target you can’t see.
These are not goals.
These are vague wishes that are very general.
Everyone wants to be happy and everyone wants to be rich or to make more money.
And this is why most people are not achieving it. Hence, don’t be like most people. Instead, choose to be more specific.
Clarity is Key to Success
You must understand exactly what you want out of your life in order to achieve it.
If you don’t have a clear vision or specific goals to achieve, you will never be able to formulate a plan to work on them.
Think about it, if your goal is to “be happy”, how are you going to achieve it?
The goal itself is too vague and you can’t measure it.
And if you can’t measure it, how can you tell when you have achieved it?
The same goes for “to earn more money”.
If this is your goal, you will never achieve it.
As I said, the goal is too vague and it lacks a measurement system where you can track.
How do you know when you have earned more?
If you are running an internet business, is earning an extra $1 from your advertisement mean you have earned more?
Or when you make an extra sale of $30?
Or you only consider yourself successfully achieved your goal when you earn an additional $1,000 a month?
You see, there are so many possibilities and so many different meanings. This is why you need to be specific.
The more specific you are with your definition of success, the more likely you are going to achieve it.
Success Begins in Your Mind
Here’s what you need to understand – success begins in your mind.
When you know exactly what you want, you can project a clear picture of what success means to you in your mind.
Some people called this visualization.
And when you can see it vividly in your mind, only then your mind can formulate a plan and transform your drive into action.
Like professional athletes and successful business people.
They see the things that they want vividly in their mind and then work on them in real life.
I love how Jack Nicklaus put it: “I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp in-focus picture of it in my head.”
Jack Nicklaus is one of the greatest golfers in the world.
He said, “First, I see the ball where I want it to finish, nice and white and sitting up high on the bright green grass.
Then, the scene quickly changes, and I see the ball going there: its path, trajectory, and shape, even its behavior on landing. Then there is a sort of fade-out, and the next scene shows me making the kind of swing that will turn the previous images into reality.”
There are plenty of studies and research have been conducted about the effectiveness of visualization.
Once, an Australian psychologist, Alan Richardson, conducted an experiment with a group of basketball players.
Richardson divided the participants into 3 groups and tested their free throws ability:
The first group would practice free throws for 20 minutes every day.
The second would only visualize themselves making free throws, but no real practice was allowed.
The third one would not practice or visualize.
After 20 days, Richardson measured the players’ improvement.
And he discovered that the first group who practice it has their skill improved by 24%.
The third group who did nothing did not improve at all.
And the surprise came for the second group where the players trained through visualization – 23% improvement.
The group of basketball players who trained their free throws solely through visualization had an improvement of as good as those players who did the training physically.
Such is the power of your mind.
And here’s something important you need to know.
If you don’t have a clear vision for what you want, you can never project a clear picture of it in your head.
When you don’t have the vision, it is impossible for your mind to act on it.
Most people have vague goals and they have a very blurry vision for success.
And that is why they are living in mediocrity and not living the extraordinary life that they desire.
Do you get it now?
You need to first define it vividly the success you want before your mind can work on it.
How to Define Your Success
Now that you understand the importance of defining your success, but how do you do it? Here are a couple of methods:
Create a vivid picture of how and what success looks like to you.
Ask yourself, what kind of success you want, and then take a picture of it.
You want to tap into the power of visualization to help you achieve the things you want in life.
if your goal is to own a BMW or a Mercedes, vividly imagine you owning the car and driving it in your mind.
Like how the basketball players train using visualization, schedule time to do this.
Some people choose to practice visualization in the morning after they wake up, some choose to do it at night before they sleep.
But those who are truly serious about living their dream will hold the picture of their dreams in their heads all the time.
They think about it, talk about it, dream about it, sleep with it, eat with it, and breathe it every single moment.
This is how you can leverage the power of visualization to help you achieve the success you want.
Therefore, create a picture of what you want, and hold the image in your mind as often as possible. More importantly, feel and act as if you are already there.
Make a list of all the success you want.
Another easy method that can help you define your success is to make a list.
So what are the things that you want to achieve in life?
- To drive a brand new Audi A7,
- To earn $100,000 each month from my internet business,
- To live in a bungalow with at least 6,000sf land area by the sea,
- To visit The Great Wall of China together with my family,
- To learn to speak Spanish,
List down all your goals.
The more specific you are, the better.
Remember, these goals are what makeup of your perfect life.
These are the things and experiences that you are going to get and enjoy when you are living the successful life you desire.
Thus, make your list right now.
Some of your goals may not happen right away because you may focus and give priority to other goals.
But regardless, list down as many targets you think are going to ‘make’ you successful as possible.
The action of writing down your targets and goals helps you understand the success you want in life better.
Make plans to get there.
Once you have identified the success you want to achieve in life, what you need to do next is to make plans to get there.
You can’t proceed with a goal without a plan.
I know that a plan may not always work out, but having a plan is much better than having no plan at all.
When you have a plan, you can consciously make decisions and take action to get the results you want. Instead of being reactive, you become proactive.
It’s sad to see many people have goals, but they don’t have a plan to achieve them.
Your mission now is to come up with a plan.
But what if you don’t know what you need to do to achieve your goal?
Well then, go figure out.
Learn from others, read books, attend workshops, search on Google, learn from YouTube, ask someone else, etc.
Do whatever you can to master the craft.
Never Anchor Your Success and Happiness to Your Goals
It is true that you need to have goals, objectives, and targets, but you should not anchor your success and happiness on them.
In other words, don’t set a condition ONLY to feel successful or happy when you achieve your goal.
You don’t have to wait until you have earned a million dollars only to feel happy.
You don’t have to postpone your happiness and wait until you own your dream car only to feel happy.
No, you don’t have to set conditions to feel happy and successful in your life right now.
Having goals in life are important because they show us the direction of where we’re going in life.
Goals are like lighthouses, they point you in the right direction so that you won’t get lost.
At the same time, you don’t want to anchor your success and happiness to them.
You can feel successful and happy right now, even when you’re YET to achieve any of your goals.
Instead of thinking you need to achieve only to feel happy, change your mindset and happily achieve.
Ditch this mindset: Achieve goals –> Feel happy
Adopt this mindset: Feel happy –> achieve more goals and produce better success
If you want to understand this concept better, learn the Reverse Gap. Read my previous article here.
Success is a Progress and a One-Time Action
Before we conclude this article, here’s one thing you need to understand – success is a journey, not a destination.
Many people are mistaken and think that success is what happens when they achieve something.
For instance, people think that they are successful only when they drive their dream car.
They think they are successful only when they accomplished their goals, like building a multi-million dollar business.
The truth is that success is not ‘something that happens in an instant.
Success is not the moment when you achieve your goal, but rather, success is the journey of getting there.
Let me share with you a clear example I used in my previous article:
Let’s just imagine that you started an internet business and your target is to earn a million dollars from it.
In the first year, things are new and tough for you.
You try hard and you work hard, but by the end of the year, you did not make any money at all, instead, you lost $100,000 into your business.
On the second year, you decided to try again and work hard on your business.
And toward the end of the second year, you found that you improved a little, but still, you lost $50,000 this year.
Again, not making any profit.
You told yourself that you will never give up no matter what and you will do whatever it takes to make your business successful.
So for the next 3 years, you work extremely hard.
You learn from all your mistakes and you go the extra mile.
Finally, at the end of the fifth year, you made a nice profit of $1 million from your business.
The question now is: Are you successful when you hit the $1 million profit mark by the end of the fifth year?
Most people will answer yes because they have achieved their target of making a million-dollar.
But, are you NOT equally successful in the first few years?
Can you skip the first 4 years and go straight into the fifth year to earn the million dollars profit directly?
No, you can’t. You need to go through the first 4 years in order to arrive at the fifth year.
Therefore, success is not a destination, but a journey.
Success is not a one-time thing, but progress.
You don’t become successful when you drive your dream car or earn the amount of money you desire.
You are successful as long as you are making progress and working toward your goals.
Do you get it?
From the example I shared above, you are successful in the first year, the second year, the third year, the fourth year, and the fifth year.
As long as you are working on your targets and are making an effort to produce results, you are considered successful.
You can’t skip steps and get to the fifth year straight away.
The first few years when you poured in the hard work count too!
My Meaning of Success
So, here’s my meaning of success – you start with a vision, you then turn it into goals, and as long as you work and make progress to achieve your goals, you are considered successful.
- Do you have a clear vision in life?
- Do you have goals?
- And are you working on them?
If your answer is a yes, you are living a successful life.
First, you give meaning to success by creating a vivid vision.
Next, you set them as goals and then you work on them diligently, relentlessly, and you persist until you get there.
And that’s a success, my friend.
How to Own Your Life and Become a High-Achiever
Top performers are no different from us. It’s all about mindset.
High-performers are born with some special blood type that the rest of us just don’t have
I know, I’ve been there, we see them on their shiny websites, with sparkling eyes, and perfect smiles full of unnaturally white teeth, your whole house costs less than one of their watches.
They are flawless.
You listen to them, you admire them, you’re inspired by them.
You want to be like them, but somehow you feel that its life just too far beyond your reach.
You look yourself in the mirror and your skin doesn’t have a permanent golden suntan of days spent in your Mansion swimming-pool in Malibu, you pop some pimples in your face (when is a person old enough to stop having pimples????) you’ve got dark circles around your eyes, and no, it’s not lack of sleeping, it’s just your age.
In fact, those rings are black when you sleep well, and green or red when you don’t sleep. The mirror reflection is shouting to you: common!; normal!; average!
You are not alone. In fact, you are far from alone in there
Unless you were making your first million by the age of 25, or that you grew up in that Mansion because of your family's financial achievements, you probably are a nobody.
Although… are you?
I can confidently say something: I don’t believe for a single moment that you and I are less than any of those shiny achievers.
Yes, I can see your face of disbelief, but trust me, this is not about what they HAVE that we don’t, this is about the kind of person they decided they wanted to BE.
There is a very interesting sentence I read the other day (I know, it’s probably a super famous one for everybody, but new for me, so allow me to enjoy my discovering!):
FIRST YOU CREATE THE HABIT, AND THEN THE HABIT CREATES YOU.
I don’t know who said it originally, but I heard it from Jim Kwik, so as far as I’m concerned it’s his ?
I love its simplicity and truth.
Let’s check a normal day of a high-performer:
- 5–6am They wake up fresh as a rose, they love their morning routine so much that they set the alarm 2–3 hours before they really need to.
- 6–9am They do daily meditation/aerobic exercise/yoga/write a list of the things they want to do/make a list of their priorities and goals/spend some time being grateful for all the gifts they have/have a nice full-of-nutrients-and-other-wonderful-ingredients-that-you’ve-never-heard-of breakfast (they base their diet in whole-natural food)
- They travel to work and back while listening to an audio book in their transport.
- 9am–6pm they work hard, they organize their agendas so they focus on the activities that are aligned with their goals, and reject all distractions.
- 6pm Time to be with their families and friends. They nurture their relationships, they listen, they have dinner without the TV, even on a real table with real chairs and… wait for this… using plates, cutlery and a table cloth! They treat their family gatherings as important moments to connect and listen to each other. They don’t sit down in the couch in front of the TV while stuffing their mouths with food, having their phone in one hand and laptop in the other (by the way, did you know that the silicon valley gurus don’t allow their children to use electronic devices?)
- After dinner, time to check your social media, or to watch a movie, but not for too long, since you know how white screens can affect the quality of your sleeping, so you prefer to read a book and use nice environmental warm lights one hour before going to bed.
They actually read a lot, they know that Leaders are readers, so they read a minimum of one hour a day
Now, let’s see one normal day in an average person:
7–8 am Alarm clock. Fuzziness; pain; crying if it’s Monday; hangover if it’s Saturday or Sunday
8–9 am working in the office, you’ve just had your third coffee, starting to wake up. You didn’t even say good morning to anyone, and nobody cared since you are all sleepy, it’s like a zombie apocalypse. In the meantime, you’re checking your phone all the time, and yes, we all know that you’re probably reading this in the toilet (thanks for NOT sharing that information with me if that’s the case! ?)
12 noon Lunch at your office desk with some fast food
1 pm Back to work, now you are fully awake and kind of looking forward to finishing your day
6 pm Finally back home! Some dinner, and 3–4 hours vegetating on the couch watching Netflix, binging, and drinking beer.
11–12 pm going to bed
Start the cycle again.
Of course, this is an extreme example.
But I’m afraid the statistic doesn’t say so, it actually agrees more with what I’ve just written.
- 80% people read less than a book per year. In the other 20%, only 1% reads more than 4 books per year.
- The average time watching TV is around 3 hours per day. The pandemic made things worse, reaching peaks of 8 hours a day.
- More than 60% of the global adult population is sedentary (measured by spending less than 90 min a week exercising).
- Around 40% people have sleep disorders.
Exercise 1: Find the 5 differences between those life-styles
Exercise 2: Who do you think has more chances to be successful?
What is your choice?
Am I saying this to blame us normal people for not belonging to the Olympus of the Top-performers? How dare I suggest that they deserve their success and we deserve our misery? Of course not!
Blaming and shaming are basically the most useless action or feeling a person can have. And no one deserves misery or suffering.
But we can take responsibility and action.
We can own our life from now, from today.
Yesterday is the past, but we are building our future with our actions today.
why am I saying this?
TO WAKE YOU(us) UP
Because the truth is: If you want to be a top performer, you have to behave like one, and eventually you will be one.
Because if you want to be the best in what you do, you have to give your best.
Steve Chandler said that every time we are watching TV, we are passively witnessing people succeeding and doing something meaningful (acting, reporting, creating…).
Doesn’t it make you wonder on which side of the TV you would like to be?
I’m too old for succeeding
This is also an old excuse.
And I can see why we are seeing these shiny people, some of them even 10–20 years younger than us, and we have this feeling of time wasted (or invested in other things).
The shiny people of our own age have been successful for decades now, and the older shiny people start their sentences with an “in my 30–40 years of experience working with thousands of people”.
And those numbers are just too big, they make you dizzy, and then you just accept your opaqueness, embrace your averageness and say “well, it’s too late for me anyway”
No! Objection! Don’t agree! Wrong! Mistake! Not true!
No one is too old for anything.
Some people need more time to get to the same point that others reached faster, but in the journey, we learned invaluable lessons that will help us in our new life.
There are people that became famous after their 40’s (and 50’s).
There are people that started from less than zero, people who had lost everything, who had no connections, or were addicted to drugs, and could build a whole new life. They didn’t HAVE anything, they wanted to BE different, they became the person they wanted to be.
I hope you don’t hate me too much for pointing out these uncomfortable truths, believe me, I’m far from having that shiny life, but at least I know it.
I know where my bad habits are leading me, and I know the consequences of changing them, and I’m on my way to do it.
The first life may sound too disciplined, too boring for many of us.
But for me, it feels authentic, full of love and respect to myself and the people around me.
Another option could be to remain on my couch crying for my bad luck, while I think those top performers with glowing skin were rewarded by the gods (in Spain we would say that they pee Chanel No. 5 and defecate Ferrero Rocher, excuse my bad language).
But I’m not choosing that option. I’m choosing to own my life.
And here it comes your moment of truth:
WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE?
Definition of Success:
Success (the opposite of failure) is the status of having achieved and accomplished an aim or objective.
Being successful means the achievement of desired visions and planned goals.
Furthermore, success can be a certain social status that describes a prosperous person that could also have gained fame for its favorable outcome.
The dictionary describes success as the following: “attaining wealth, prosperity and/or fame”.
How to define success in life?
The only person that can answer the question above is you.
I am neither able nor willing to prescribe the ultimate definition of success, as this is not possible.
Every person is thinking differently about being prosperous in life and is defining success in another way, so there can’t exist a definition that is suitable for all.
It is very important that you know exactly how to define success in life!
Make yourself aware of what accomplishment, success, and prosperity, in general, mean to you in your life.
Some might define success as having luxurious cars and a huge mansion, whereas others consider a life full of joy and happiness with their family as the true meaning of success.
Once you have figured out what is important for you personally you are able to focus on your visions and goals.
The meaning of success
One of the most important key steps to achieve success in life is to know the meaning of success for your personal life.
The true meaning of success goes far beyond the common definitions of success, such as having a lot of money, being wealthy, having a lot of tangibles, and earned degrees.
Quite the opposite: true success in life cannot be measured with the above-named factors, but instead with the number of people that are able to live a better and more advanced life because of what you created.
This is the meaning of success.
Not the trophies people are collecting in their lives.
Media and society let us often conclude that living a successful life means being extraordinarily wealthy and have a lot of tangibles.
But the meaning of success is to live a happy life and to make this world a better place for everyone.
Is a fancy sports car really the definition of success?
Definition of failure:
The opposite of success is failure as it means to fail while trying to achieve aims or objectives.
Besides this regular definition of failure it also can be said that even wealthy and successful persons fail in their lives.
Just think about the rich and famous and all their scandals, addictions and suicides.
All of them were extraordinary persons but a lot of them were also extremely unhappy with their lives and were not able to see the meaning of success.
Wealth cannot be defined with money, but instead with values in your life that make you a happy person, such as friendship, relationships, and your family.
The difference between accomplishment and success:
Accomplishment is often associated with success, but it is not the same.
Accomplishment refers to the results we desire when we attempt to reach specific goals.
Basically, it is the results that we plan or expect to occur.
Success is the positive consequence or outcome of an achieved accomplishment.3
The definition of accomplishment
Accomplishment can be seen as the process to become successful and with every accomplished goal, you take a step towards prosperity and a life full of success.
How to achieve success in life?
- The process of becoming successful starts with elaborated goal setting
- Define a strategy and a plan for how you intend to reach your goals, aims, and visions
- Keep in mind that success is the consequence of having earned a series of accomplishments, so make sure to divide your goals into easier to reach subgoals
Mind Cafe’s Picks of the Week
- Maybe What You Really Need Is a Quest by Chris Wojcik: Every pursuit begins somewhere. Start your quest now.
- An Effective Guide to Being More Ambitious by Jon Hawkins: You’ll never get what you want unless you have the ambition to get there.
- 10 Ways to Show Someone You Love Them Without Actually Saying It by Itxy Lopez: Everything starts with love. Love others by trying Itxy’s tips.