Defining Success for You

person sitting on chair holding iPad

Most people want to be successful, but not everyone knows what success looks like. In fact, the concept of “success” can be a real subject of contention because everyone has their own definition of success – and we should. Today, let’s try to understand the meaning of success.

What does it mean to be successful? Do you consider yourself a success? If so, why? If not, what will success look like when you have finally achieved it?

These are important questions to ask yourself, because your happiness in life may depend upon your answers. Some people seem to believe that success means a wardrobe full of designer clothes, a fancy car and a beautiful house in a nice part of town. Other people think that success means not having to work at all after they win a few million in the lottery. Still others think that success is giving up everything they own and devoting their lives to helping others.

To a certain extent, all of these folks are correct. For many people, success means getting to do what you really want to do in your work life and in your love life, doing it very well, and feeling good about the fact that you’re doing it. It is about finding your true purpose and using your talents and abilities, and discovering a way to live it out for the time that you have here.

It is perfectly fine to choose a purpose for yourself that doesn’t mean much to the rest of the world. Failure comes only in having no purpose at all. It’s not “failure” to perform poorly at things that don’t have any value to you, as long as it doesn’t intentionally hurt anyone else. Failure is performing poorly or haphazardly at something that you have decided is important.

In the final analysis, you are a success when you are actively engaged in becoming the person you most want to be, contributing to society and not just taking up space. And in that, you are the only person who can define “success” for you.