“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”
— Dr. Maya Angelou
Ask Yourself These Questions to Develop Your Unique Definition of Success
Do you have your own definition of success? Many people are trying to live up to society’s definition of success without considering if this is the best option for themselves. Ask others what success means and you’re bound to hear a variation of these answers:
Nice house, big and fancy, with an infinity pool, in a gated community.
Fancy cars to fill up a five-car garage.
Respectable corporate job worth bragging about.
An attractive spouse.
A bazillion dollar bank account.
Those things are fine if that’s what you choose. But suppose success is meant to be just as unique as each of us. Or suppose your vision of success does not fit a standard, melting pot definition. If you take the time to think about it, your definition of success might be something completely different and off the standard path. Consider this alternative success scenario:
Being single and traveling the world.
Running your own business from a laptop.
Having meaningful adventures each day.
Wearing flipflops at least eight hours each day.
A person with this definition of success would be miserable in the first scenario. They might find themselves accomplishing something that is not so appealing in the end; something that lacks the fulfillment that was hoped for. How do you avoid that kind of disappointment? By creating your own definition of success!
Start by considering these introspective questions.
How well do you know yourself? Take a deep dive into your own personal experiences, your life story, holding yourself to personal accountability and responsibility for making your life a great story.
How do you nurture your life? Commit to making wise choices, building quality relationships, and embracing change.
Do you choose a balanced life or a fluid life? Life integration is coordinating all the different aspects of your life to create a whole life picture based on synergy. approach where different areas of your life complement one another as part of an integrated whole.
How skilled are you at connecting with others, especially those who are different from you? Connection is about others and it goes way beyond words on four levels — visually, intellectually, emotionally, and verbally.
What is your definition of intentional living? Internalize what you learn about intentional living and apply what you learn by putting it into action.
Which is your tendency when it comes to seizing opportunity? Take advantage of connectivity and opportunity by seizing the moment to make a difference.
What legacy do you want to leave for your children and the world? Creating an intergenerational legacy is a lifelong endeavor that impacts future generations.
What are your values? A lifetime spent living your values should be fulfilling. Most people have a vague notion of what’s important to them, but few take the time to think about it carefully.
Who are you becoming? To soar is to grow fearlessly with vision, purpose, and action. As you cultivate a daily growth mindset through personal development, think about who you are becoming.
What will it take for you to feel successful? Imagine various scenarios and determine what would make you feel successful.
Here’s the bottom line.
There is no universal definition of success. Search for a version of success that’s meaningful to you, even if others are unaware of your possessions and accomplishments. It’s important not to fall into the trap of trying to impress your family, friends, co-workers, or anyone else for that matter. Develop a version of success that is meaningful for you, regardless of society’s values. You might find that your version of success is much more enjoyable and easier to attain.
Here’s my definition of success.
Significance: making a difference in my own life and the lives of others.
Uniqueness: walking in my uniqueness while allowing others to do the same.
Connection: recognizing the humanity in all people.
Change: cultivating change on the inside first then out into the world.
Empower: breaking down barriers and disrupting limiting beliefs.
Seen and heard: Recognizing that my voice and my story needs to be shared.
Seize opportunity: Taking action with a sense of urgency and anticipation.
“Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.” — Romans 12:2 NLT