Success: We all want it and if we have it, we want more of it. But, what exactly is success?
Due to the socially connected nature of today’s society, we are able to see other people's success far more than ever before, along with an innumerable number of people trying to motivate us to gain our own victories (and, of course, to make a buck or two while they’re at it).
The thing about success is that culturally, it doesn’t have a clear-cut definition. The majority of people seem to see ultimate success in life as one thing: A massive bank balance. If you’ve made a ridiculous amount of money, you must be successful, right?
The dictionary defines success as "the accomplishment of one’s goals," which lends itself to the fact that success is a massively subjective concept.
Success to me won’t necessarily mean success to you, and success for the individual might not mean the same for the masses.
It’s important to define what success is for ourselves because otherwise, we risk working hard, toward someone else’ goals, or living life according to someone else’s rules.
Here are a few ways to help define your own success:
1. Define What Makes You Happy
Happiness is a key staple in life, and something for which we all strive.
By defining what makes us happy to find what we are passionate about, we can create our own goals to obtain more of what we enjoy.
Personal success will ultimately come from obtaining your own happiness in any way you decide. If you know what makes you happy, as long as you have it or are working toward it, you will always have success.
2. Your Passion, Your Profession
"Make your passion your profession and you won’t work another day in your life."
Once you know what makes you happy, you’ll know what you’re passionate about.
Armed with this knowledge, you can figure out how to turn your passion into a profession or do something that would require you to do what you actually enjoy. If you can do something you love as a profession, it won’t feel like work and you’ll be that much more dedicated to it.
3. Action Equals Success
Success is in the doing, not in the dreaming or in the planning. Goals can only be reached if we consistently work toward them.
It is important to have a dream and it is important to plan, but nothing will come about without action. The most successful people on the planet are those who try the hardest and just keep going no matter what.
Knowledge is power, but knowledge is nothing without action. Action is the only route to success, and if you love what you do, action toward your goals is something you’ll look forward to doing every single day of your life.
4. Follow Excellence
"Do not chase success. Follow excellence and success will chase you."
Success seems to have the uncanny ability to elude those who chase it. It’s similar with the focus on money; if you chase it, you’ll have a harder time obtaining it.
Instead, focus on making yourself and your work the best that it can be. The beauty of loving what you do is that you will perform it to the utmost of your ability.
With such an extreme level of focus and drive, you’ll be harder on yourself and will make your product, service or whatever else you do exceptional.
This focus will lead to excellence, and that excellence lead to success.
"He who has not failed, has not lived."
One thing that is absolutely essential for success is failure. Failure defines success and it is absolutely impossible to go through life without failing at something at some point or another.
Without failing, we cannot learn. Experience is our biggest teacher and we learn more from our mistakes than any class, professor, mentor or university could ever teach us.
In moments of adversity, we discover qualities in ourselves that would otherwise lay dormant. In adversity, we have the chance to hone our skills and enrich our personal arsenals of knowledge.
The most important thing about failure is to pick yourself up, dust yourself off analyze why you failed, what you could have done better and then, try again. Armed with this, you have more knowledge, more skill and far less fear.
Repeat this formula time after time after time and success will be inevitable.
Money is not strictly a measure of success, but rather, a byproduct of it.
One of the reasons why money commonly measures success is because we can quantify and assign a numerical value to it, which allows us to compare our successes against others.
If you genuinely love what you do, you’ll be very good at it, simply because you enjoy doing it. This will lead you to work harder and excel at an exceptional level, which in turn, will lead to a higher rate of achievement, which will lead to more money.
The focus should be on the doing, not the result. As billionaire Naveen Jain once said,
If money is your end goal, it will be so much more difficult to get there. It’s like having sex; if all you focus on is getting an orgasm, you won’t get one. It’s about the journey, not the destination. Enjoy the process.
In short, don’t focus so much on the byproduct of success; focus on what makes you happy and on what you love doing. You, and only you, can define your own success.