Defining Success

Believing in yourself, and your ability to know, is a key element of a successful life. How can you know that you have achieved success, however, until you define success? So today I am writing about my personal definition of success.

Believing in yourself, and your ability to know, is a key element of a successful life.

The word success is ambiguous. No two of us have the exact same goals, so we each approach success from a different vantage point. In fact, for every person involved in a project, there is a different idea of success.

Once I understood that success was a measure I could create for myself, I reviewed some of the typical definitions to see if any worked for me. I enjoy financial success, but that marker alone is insufficient. I enjoy personal success, but that too felt like a limited definition. I want personal success for others, too. So how to wrap this all up into a definition that could work for me? My struggles to include others into my personal definition of success led me to realize that I can only know my own definition. I can’t plan my life around your definition. I can’t predict, with certainty, what you will judge a successful life to be. But I can provide context as to how I am judging my own life to see whether I am a success.

My personal view is that a successful life is made up of successful days. And successful days are made of successful moments. A successful moment, for me, is any moment where I feel good. Happy. Satisfied. Content. Excited. Hopeful, Joyful. Eager. Ready. Confident. Compassionate. Knowing.

Any of the above do it for me. If I, on balance, have more good moments than not-so-good, I count the day as a success. I also count success in not-so-good moments that bring me clarity. So even a moment of frustration could lead to an aha moment, which I enjoy. So all my moments are ripe with potential to become better moments.

With this definition in place, I began to re-see my days. I began to note the good moments, in my Log Book, and do my best to prolong them as long as possible. I did this by writing them down, giving them words, and keeping them at the top of my mind.

When I first adopted this definition, I was a bit embarrassed by the low bar I had created for myself, so I kept my definition a secret. I judged my days based on the good moments, but I didn’t share that gauge with others. I had a limiting belief that I was making life too easy on myself, and felt uncomfortable telling others that I was calling my life a success because I feel good most of my days.

Once I did the inner work to clear out those limiting beliefs (as all inner work is about clearing blocks), I was able to see that my definition had legs. It was a definition that created a potential for success every single day. And in that potential, there is great power.

When you realize that life is but a series of moments, all strung together and flying by, then you begin to see that your power to change your life is a power to change your moments.

When you realize that life is but a series of moments, all strung together and flying by, then you begin to see that your power to change your life is a power to change your moments. And with each moment you change, you feel ripple effects into all aspects of your day.

My path to a string of successful days didn’t start with change. It began with Noticing. It began once I became more present within my body and simply allowed life to be whatever it was and still hold an intent to look for the good. The moments that benefitted me the most were good moments that I turned into great moments simply by bringing my attention to them.

It’s easy to do this, and it’s now my habit to take any moment where I am feeling good, and dive into that goodness to milk it for all it has to offer. I name my emotion. I talk to myself about how this moment feels so good. I write down the moment in my Log Book. And then I say, that was a great moment.

We all have good moments that hold the potential to become great moments. No moment is too small to be captured. The blissful satisfaction of getting into bed. The tasty first bite of delicious food. The pleasant feel of carpet under foot. Your first cup of coffee in the morning. I give my attention to all of them and savor them. And then I count that moment as a success.

What I also do is look for the good even in situations that challenge me. This too has had a profound impact on my life, but I have experienced the greatest growth by taking the good, and calling it great.

Our words have the ability to shift our perspective, and as I began to call good moments great moments, I felt a shift in me take place.

First, I began to feel better every single day. More upbeat. More confident. More self assured. I even had an easier time bouncing back after my low moments. Second, I began to re-see my life as containing far more good moments than I expected. Every meal was an opportunity for pleasure. The weather alone was often something to notice. People who were friendly got my attention too. In short, I changed how I perceived the life I was in. Last, I began to see that I held a lot of power. I had the ability to take an otherwise ordinary moment and turn it into something grand, merely by giving my attention to the present moment and looking for the benefits, or the good, in the situation. And a feeling of power feels awesome.

All this from choosing my own definition of success.

Where have you set the bar too high? Where could you re-create a definition of success that gave you a chance of winning every single day? Where are you blocking your own success by using another’s definition, instead of your own?

Leave a Reply