How do you define success? Is it defined by your wealth or fame? Or have you created your own definition? Success can be defined in a variety of different ways and differs for each person.

In the dictionary, success is defined in three ways:

1.  Success is the achievement of something you have been trying to do

2.  Success is the achievement of a high position in a particular field, for example, business, politics, or academics

3.  Someone or something that is a success achieves a high position, makes a lot of money or is admired a lot, by many people.

At some point I felt that this, particularly the second and third definitions, were the definition I had to strive for, only to realize how unrealistic it is. If we were all to go by this definition, many of us would be sorely disappointed in ourselves.

The good news is, success doesn’t need to be defined by a single outdated definition in the dictionary, it can be defined by you. It can mean so many different things to so many different people, so your definition should be created by you, to best fit your personal vision of success.

Creating and defining your own vision of success can be done in the following ways:

1.    What are your core values?

Sit down, take a deep breath, and take a look at your life. What are the most important things to you?

Our personal values are the core of our being. It defines what is most important to us, affects every element of our lives, and determines our happiness. 

Identifying our values is vital as it helps us to focus on what really matters to us. Once we have identified our top values we can use them in making decisions. This will ensure that we are aligned with our core principles and helps us live in balance.

What is at the core of your life that drives you to wake up every day? What are the values that are unwavering in your life? 

Take some alone time to write these down and keep them nearby in case you find yourself comparing your goals or accomplishments to others.

2. Look for success in all parts of your life

Happiness does not come from excelling in one or two areas of your life but when you seek success in all parts. Reaching your goals in financial and career will not necessarily give you the feeling of true fulfilment. When we outline goals in all areas of our life: spiritual, wellness, relational, career and finance and actively seek them we are more apt to feel content and happy.

Take time to write down what your “Best Life” would look like in all areas of your life. Create actions to work towards those goals on a daily basis.

3. Defining your long term and short-term success

Figuring out your long-term and short-term goals is no easy task. Take the time to write down what you want to accomplish in the next year, 3 years, 5 years, and 10 years. Have a clear idea of what you want, so accomplishing your short-term goals will lead to your long-term successes.

4.  What is the creative freedom you are striving for?

What does meaningful work look like for you?

What is the business or career path you want to create for yourself? Do you want to work creatively or express your creativity in your personal life or side-hustle?

There are so many different ways to be creative. Finding, defining, and actioning how you want to be creative in all aspects of your life will make you feel more in control of your future.

5.  What does financial stability look like in your life?

What does financial success look like for you to be able to afford the lifestyle you want?

Is there a salary goal you have?

Do you have a “more-than-enough” number?

I know finances can be hard to look at but get specific with your numbers and budget so you can be realistic with your goals.

Holistic approach to defining your success

Remember that success is more than just fame and fortune. Taking a holistic approach, including all of the above-mentioned areas in your definition of success will help you attain the happiness and fulfillment that you are looking for, far more than trying to chase after someone else’s definition. 

“I never dreamed about success, I worked for it.”

– Estee Lauder