Success – How You Define It Makes It Yours


How do YOU define success?

The way you define success for yourself has a profound effect on how you spend your time.

It gives you a powerful context for the time choices you make. And here’s the thing: the more conscious you are about that context and the messages and values it reflects, the more likely you are to make choices that truly serve you.

What’s Success for YOU?

So, today and tomorrow I’m going to dig deeper and offer some questions to ponder. They’ll help you find out how you define this important concept for yourself.

It’s all-too-easy to spend precious years of your life working off of what other people call success, only to discover later that this wasn’t what you wanted at all. You need to know how you view success, in your heart of hearts. That allows you to be powerfully in sync with yourself and your values as you set your goals and work toward them.

So that’s what this exercise is designed to help you discover. And here’s the thing: Exercises are called exercises for a reason. As with running, swimming, yoga — you name it — you need to actually do an exercise to reap the benefits. The more fully you engage, the greater the benefits that follow.

Success Question #1

So, find a quiet place, grab a piece of paper and a pencil, take a deep breath, open your heart … and let’s get started!

1. Whose Success is this, anyway?

First sit back and relax. We’re going back in time to capture your early messages about success – the ones that you probably carry unconsciously today.

Create 3 columns across the top of your page. Label the first column Family, the second column Friend, and the third column Failure.

In each column quickly list 5 things that come to mind. They might be short messages you received from family or friends about success. Maybe a strong image or word association floats to the surface. Perhaps a person from your past embodies this idea (or it’s opposite – failure) for you.

Whatever emerges, trust your intuition; write it down. Quite often the first things that pop up seem puzzling on first glance. Don’t worry – and definitely don’t censor yourself. Just write down what comes to you – these seeming mysteries have a lot to offer, as you’ll see!

… and There’s More

2. Now Unwrap the Gifts You’ve Given Yourself!

Next, look over your lists and choose one item from each column that you feel drawn to. Write a paragraph or two that includes all three and explores the following questions:

  • What messages about success and failure do I distill from these 3 items?
  • Where do they live in me and what feelings do they create?
  • Where do they reflect my genuine heart-based values and where are they about someone else’s?
  • How have I acted on these messages?
  • What gains, and what losses, have resulted?

Don’t just answer the questions but rather to use them as guides. Write freely and fast. Follow the thread of your words and I can pretty well guarantee that what comes will be revealing.

And stay tuned. Tomorrow I’ll have 3 more questions for you to explore.

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