What Does Your Success Mean for You?

Your success and your goals
What does your success look like?

Success is a concept that most of us think we understand, right up until we sit down and attempt to define it for ourselves.

Then your success becomes personal, and a more complicated idea.

And, in fact, when you define it ahead of time for yourself, your success may become a burdensome idea.

Even worse, it can be an idea that obscures your true strengths and passions.

Try to discover
The road to success
And you’ll seek but never find,
But blaze your own path
And the road to success
Will trail right behind.

~Robert Brault

Your Success? It’s complicated…

Success is complex because there are so many different factors that play into it: family and cultural influences, natural inclinations, and good friends and teachers who’ve inspired you, to name a few.

Maybe you’ve thought about it a lot – what success means – or maybe you haven’t really reflected on it at all.

But in the end, how you define your success makes all the difference in the world. That’s because it has such a fundamental impact, both on how you make choices about your time AND on how you feel about yourself and your life.

Merriam Webster says…

The Merriam-Webster On-Line Dictionary offers the following top three definitions of success:

  • The fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame;
  • The correct or desired result of an attempt;
  • Someone or something that is successful; a person or thing that succeeds.

These three definitions offer, in a nutshell, the three challenges that the concept of success presents us each with.

In the end, how you define success makes
all the difference in the world. (Click to Tweet).

Let’s break it down.

#1 External Measures: The first definition gives you what is probably the most commonly-held view. By this definition, your success can be measured or manifested by attainments that are culturally valued.

So often, your particular idea of what it means to succeed is handed down from parent to child and from generation to generation. It becomes part of your psyche; you accept and act on it as if it were fact.

The important thing, when external measures are in play, is not how you feel about your attainments in your heart-of-hearts. No, the important thing is how others view and measure your efforts.

Have you achieved what your family and culture believe you should achieve? That’s the question that guides you under this definition.

But what does your success look like?

#2 Opening the Door to Self-Reference: Next, success is described as “The … desired result of an attempt.”  This is something that you define for yourself. 

This second definition tends to put the power back in your hands. 

You decide what to attempt and what your desired result will be.  Maybe you still choose fame or wealth as an outcome to strive for.  But there has been a profound shift in how you come to that choice. You are in charge.

What I like best about this definition is the flexibility it affords in relation to scale.  “Success” needn’t be a huge goal whose attainment is decades away. Really, it’s as large or small as you make it. This opens up all kinds of possibilities when it comes to finding ways to maintain energy and motivation over the long haul.

Success doesn’t have to be something that you strive for but is somehow always just out of reach.  You have the power to decide.

Claim your success and power.

#3 You get to define YourSELF:  The third prong of Webster’s definition is the one which at once causes the most pain and offers the most possibility for empowered freedom.

To refresh your memory here’s the definition again: “Someone or something that is successful; a person or thing that succeeds.”

The idea has the potential to become debilitating when it becomes a noun and gets mixed up with your personhood.  If you are celebrated for your successes, then what are you when you don’t succeed?  Are you a failure? This is a path to avoid, yet it’s one that our culture encourages.

Stay tuned…

I’m excited to be exploring these questions with you, as their answers have such an impact on how we all choose to invest our time.

In my next post, I’ll continue this exploration with an exercise to help you discover what your definition of your success is. That’s where your power lies.

And in the meantime…

Learn more about the gifts of energy, time and meaning that my unique, Heart-Based Time Management™ System offers.  To begin your transformational journey, sign up for my complimentary Finding Time Success Kit.

Receive 3 complimentary Time Success tools from The Time Finder. The Success Kit includes “The Finding Time Boundary Template: 9 Simple, Sequential Steps to Find More Time and Recharge Your Energy!” Using a workbook format this powerful and practical time template helps you progress beyond disappointment and frustration. You also receive weekly Finding Time Tips, and the monthly, award-winning Finding Time E-zine when you click this link to claim your Success Kit.

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