Failure to Define Your Success is the Only Failure

I have $20 in my purse and enough money to cover my bills plus a few extras every month for my family, but is this success?

I am able to take time to enjoy my children growing up and be an active part of their lives, but is this success?

I am happy to go into work every day knowing I am making a difference in others’ lives, but is this success?

The answer is both yes and no to each of these questions as I personally define success as a linear journey instead of a destination. Making success a destination, a final point in life, can leave people disillusioned or without a feeling of attainable accomplishment.

Knowing the direction of your life’s journey with attainable milestones is a more appropriate and measurable sense of success, and for each person those milestones will be different.

What is success to you?

To know what success is to you, you must know what is valuable to you in life. I always suggest people complete a needs assessment, ranking the following list in order of importance:

  1. Financial Stability
  2. Family
  3. Contribution to Society
  4.  Experience
  5. Creativity
  6.  Freedom

Now repeat this exercise as to where you want your needs to be ranked in five and ten years from now.

These all sound rather vague, but the overarching themes each word carries speaks volumes on what your attainable milestones in life should be, and what direction might help you achieve those milestones.

If you value creativity over financial stability, taking a lower paying job that allows you express yourself is on your path to success.

If you value financial stability over family, taking a job that is well compensated but requires quite a bit of time commitment could be on your pathway to success.

The key is to know that pathway to success can and will change for you as your life continues, and depending on your needs assessment, everyone’s success is different. However, having attainable goals in line with your values will keep you focused on your personal version of success and help redirect you should you stray off course.

So, now I will take this $20 in my pocket and take my family to have ice cream, hopefully knowing I have helped someone, because for me that is success!

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