What is Your Definition of Success?

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What’s your definition of Success?

How would you define ‘Success‘ ?

How we each define success is very different.

Many people would say something like… ” I will be successful when I’m earning ‘X’ amount of money every year, living in a big house (with 3/4/5 bedrooms, a swimming pool, etc., etc.) and driving a brand new (name of ideal car).

The problem with a definition like this, is that for most people, this definition of what you need to be successful, probably won’t ever be achieved, at least not very easily.

At a personal development seminar I attended a few years ago, the facilitator asked the question “what would it take for you to feel successful?”

One of the attendees, a man in early middle age who spent most of the morning taking notes, was asked to give an overview of his personal circumstances.

He was 45, lived in a large 5 bedroom home with a pool house, with his Wife and two children. The kids were doing really well at school, his work for a multi-national Company paid him $1.2Million per year, plus expenses and a company Mercedes. He enjoyed his career, but was concerned that his work was taking over his life, giving him very little free time.  He Lived in Southern California, but also had homes in two other countries, that he and his family used for two of their three vacations each year.  The destination for their third vacation was decided by a family vote and was different each year.

The entire family was in good heath and they all took a keen interest in sports, which included both him and his wife going to the gym three times per week.

When asked if he was successful, he immediately replied “no!, but I’m trying hard to get there!”

He was then asked what it would take for him to believe he was successful, to which he replied that for him, he would need to be earning $4Million a year, to have homes in at least 5 different countries, to own a yacht and to always be at the peak of physical fitness.

For probably 95% of the population, his current circumstances are above what would be considered a successful situation, yet for him, because his definition is so high, he feels less than successful. In fact, he almost feels like a failure.

There’s no doubt that his current circumstances can be attributed, at least in part to the fact that he’s still reaching for his version of success, and who knows? one day he may reach it, if the stress doesn’t get to him first.

In contrast, the next person chosen had been smiling and ‘buzzing’ all morning and was keen to take part in the exercise. He was 31 years old and lived with his partner in a rented apartment. He was currently unemployed and they were struggling to get by on the social security cheques. He came to the seminar to try to ‘get a bit more direction in his life’. He had borrowed the cost of the seminar from his partner’s uncle on a ‘whenever you can’ payment plan.

When asked if he felt successful, he shouted “ABSOLUTELY!!” He then went on to explain that for him, every day above ground was a success. If he woke up in the morning, he was already a success and the day had only just begun!

Again, it has to be said that his low definition of what success is, has almost certainly played it’s part on his current situation, but the ‘un-successful‘ business man spends his whole life filled with stress and pressure to be successful and the struggling man, who seems to have no prospects and little money feels the pleasure of success every day and enjoys his life.

Food for thought??

Maybe it’s time to evaluate what you already have in your life that many people can only dream of, then I’m sure you’ll see that everyone is a success in their own right.

What would need to happen for you to feel successful? Let me know in the comments 🙂

Always remember that no matter how bad your circumstances look to you, there will always be someone who’s in a much worse situation and can only dream of being as lucky as you are  😉


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