Figure out how you define success so you can more easily get there.
Do you sometimes feel like society's definition of success leaves something to be desired? Have you experienced "success" but it hasn't made you happy? Or are you just a bit unsure about what success means to you? Then let’s explore your definition of success.
What is Success?
Merriam-Webster defines success as a "favorable or desired outcome". But when researchers ask men and women what their definitions of success are, they get a whole range of answers, and those answers change over time.
Overall, women define success more in terms of life balance and relationships whereas men focus more on material success (Dyke & Murphy, 2006). But variations in definition can also depend on age, personality, and prior experience.
Here are some examples of how others define success:
What Does Success Mean to You?
So, what does success mean to you? Ask yourself the following questions to start getting at your answer:
Keep Exploring What Success Means to You
To keep exploring what success means to you, try out the following exercises:
Sometimes we get kind of stuck in our heads—I know I do! — and we have a hard time listening to our inner voice. Free-flow writing about success may help clear away the surface-level thoughts and get access to what really matters to us.
Take a moment to think through your dealbreakers—the things that you need in life to feel successful. Now, be careful, because we think of success, we often focus on the things we want and not the things we need. For example, we might want a big house and a nice car but we don’t need them and can feel successful and happy without them.
So, see if you can identify your specific criteria for success. Here are some examples that might be helpful:
Success means different things to each of us. That’s why taking some time to think about what success means to you can be helpful. That way, you can set goals that help you get where you want to go and make you happy.
Pamela (Pami) Parker currently serves as a holistic practitioner, coach and teacher. Her intention is to be a compassionate guide to those who choose to experience a healthier, happier and more peaceful way of life.