What is success, and how do you know if you are successful? Let’s check it out. First let’s see how the dictionary decsribes it…
1.the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
2.archaic: the good or bad outcome of an undertaking.
I find it interesting that, when questioned, most people only come up with the top definition. That success only means acheiving your goals. I have also heard this definition.
“success is a journey, not a destination” – Ben Sweetland
So what is it? A final destination or a journey? As with many of my posts the ultimate decision is yours. This is not a cop out because you may change your mind on what you think success is while reading this blog. Ok, do you have a pen and paper? Good! Start by writing down which definition of success you prefer. Now write down the top three things you are aiming to acheive in life. Take some time. While you are thinking you could listen to this music. It may relax you and help you think.
Done? Great! These lists mostly include the words, “bigger”, “better” or “more” which implies that you are already successful because you already have one or some of them now. Congratulations! Did you know that if you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of the world? Or even that because you can read this blog you are more fortunate than 3 billion others who can’t?
We start life with nothing and we get given things along the way, we earn things and we lose things. It is our surroundings that change our dreams. If we see only what the rich and famous have, or the latest gadgets and how much “better” they are we want them. If we saw how much happiness we gain without them and realised that we didn’t need a “bigger” TV (are TV programmes better larger?) or “spare rooms” (for what?) or “faster” cars ( they can all reach the speed limits ) we would look elsewhere for dreams. What would you want if you gained these things? How long until you wanted “bigger”, “better” or “more” again? Would it ever end?
This picture is from the film “Up”. It is a great film about how dreams change over time. It maps the life of a man with a dream and how life affects it and changes it. You should dream big and chase your dreams but never forget what you have or what is around you while you chase them.
Some of you wrote down dreams without the those three words from above. You probably wrote down about getting fit, losing weight, or being happier. If you wrote the last one in your list you are amazing! We look to gain things or change things for a reason. We are not happy with what we have. We think that if we just get the “bigger”, “better” or “more” we will be happy. If we lose a bit of weight or can run further we will be happy. The first 3 (the words) will make you happy but only for a short time until you want the same again. Weight loss and fitness are good if they are for you to be healthy, obsess about them and they can be bad. There is a stage when it is too much. If you hit your target weight or fitness goal, then what?
I have found that people chase dreams to be happy and when they achieve a goal they are happy. For a while. Some of those people with the biggest, best things work so long and hard to gain them that they are stressed and unhappy and probably have no time to enjoy their prizes. If they change themselves they can be happy and successful for life. For example if you diet to acheive a target weight and you hit it, the journey ends and you stop chasing your goal and probably gain weight again. If you change your eating habits to be healthy and happy for life then you will be a winner everyday and succeed everyday by keeping at your healthy level.
There comes a point when being happy is the goal and keeping happy is what you aim for. Being free to do the things you love, spend time with those who care about you, enjoying what you have worked for.
Look at the list you wrote. What will you gain from acheiving those goals? Do you want to change any of them?
I think that success is all of the above definitions. If you acheive something you are successful. If there is a bad outcome then it merely tells you where you are going wrong so you have successfully proven that it is not the way to go and you can change direction. If you attain a goal success is keeping it going for the rest of your life. Life is a journey. Enjoy it.
If you like this post feel free to share it and check out my other posts. You could also sign up for my free newsletter.
- The Best Way to lose weight?
- My best SEO tips