Defining Success on Your Own Terms

istock_000005248747xsmall.jpgEverybody has their own definition of success. Once you define it for yourself, that’s the definition you should use as your benchmark. Too often people aspire to be successful based on the dictates of others. What do our parents, our spouses, our teachers, our co-workers, our employees, and our children expect from us? We often aim to please others and reach the goals they set for us. But is that really what we want? Is that totally satisfying to us? Is that what success means to us?

It’s true we will always want to do things for others, as that is part of a full life. But as for the basics of defining our own success, we need to take responsibility for that or we may never feel totally fulfilled. We need to define then chart our course for success in all areas of our lives that matter to us.

So how do you define success on your own terms? A good place to start is to examine your goals and your values. What are some objectives you want to achieve in your life? Why are they important to you? These are your goals and values. For example, an important value may be family and your goal is to get married and have children. Or if you hold self-expression as a value, your goal may be to write a book or create your own company around your talent.

Now that you’ve identified your values and goals, you’re ready to define success. One sweeping definition would be living a life based on your values and achieving all your goals. A more day-to-day definition would be having a great day, accomplishing small goals, and overcoming challenges. In other words, you may want to allow some flexibility in your definition. So that means if you don’t achieve ALL your goals, you’ll still feel some level of success. You will feel good about taking action toward your goals, about facing obstacles, and about the smaller achievements along the way.

To some people, success has nothing to do with accomplishments. It may be more in line with living a life based on your principles, beliefs, values, convictions, spiritual path, or other more personal ideals. Do you treat people with love, kindness, and generosity? Are you fair in your personal and business dealings? Do you practice honesty and integrity in all you do? Do you go to bed at night feeling a sense of pride that you lived a full day and did the best you could do?

Success may also mean living a life where you continue to explore all the dimensions of who you are. You may choose to do this by taking classes, reading books, doing some deep inner investigation, or working with a coach. The gratification you get as you learn more about yourself and improve in all areas of your life can be all that is required to feel successful.

Ultimately, it comes down to defining success on your own terms to live a full and joyful life.

Thanks to Working at Home on the Internet for including this post in the Working at Home Blog Carnival, to 24 Hour Paradigm for featuring this article in the Day Shifting and Paradigm Carnival, to Effortless Abundance for publishing this article in the Effortless Abundance Blog Carnival, to Bootstrapper for inclusion in the Carnival of Business and Entrepreneurship, to Everything Finance for featuring this article in the Carnival of Everything Finance, to Everything Finance for including this in the Carnival of Everything Finance, and to Your Finish Rich Plan for publishing this post in the Rich Life Carnival.

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