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Defining Your Own Success: A Step by Step Guide

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Everyone wants success in their lives, but success can be defined in so many different ways that it can sometimes seem daunting. In this blog post, you will learn how to make success easier for yourself by defining what success means to you.

Did you ever hear people say “I just want to be successful” then you questioned them on what they mean? Successful in what way? They probably couldn’t answer what success looked to them right? This is very common. Most people want to be successful but they don’t even know what success means to them. 

Let’s start by looking at the dictionary definition of success. The definition of success is very vague as dictionaries define it differently.

Some common definitions of success:

  • the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
  • the progressive realization of a worthy ideal
  • the fact that you have achieved something that you want and have been trying to do or get 

What do all of these definitions have in common? Success can be anything! Success is not a specific thing. Success is doing what you want to do. Success is accomplishing the goals you want in life. Now you know that, the next step is finding what goals you want in your life. So now it sounds simple finding your own definition of success but the problem is many people don’t know what kind of life they want because they fail to ask themselves the right questions.

What does success look like to you?

This is a question that people often neglect when they are thinking about success. What does success look like to me? How do I define success for myself, and how can I achieve it? These questions might be difficult at first in order to answer- all we know is the old way of defining. Success should be living the life you want on your terms. It is not just about money, fame or career success. Success has to be looked at more holistically. It has many different parts, not just one part.

These three questions will help you define success better:

  • What do you want to do as your career?
  • What type of person do you need to be?
  • What lifestyle do you need to be?

What do you want to do as your career? What Job or Career would you do if they all paid the same?

Imagine if all jobs and careers paid the same. What job would you pick if that was the case? That’s how you find what you want to do for your career. If you are still not sure, find out what things you are passionate about and if there is a demand for your passions. Once you find your passion, find out if there are other people doing the same thing and if people are willing to pay for whatever you are passionate about. If there is a market for it, you know what you should be doing for your career. 

As commonly said, the mix of passion + demand is your dream career. When you find a combination of those two things, you have your dream career.

“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.” – George Sheehan

What type of person do you need to be?

Being successful means you are being the person you always wanted to be. It means that you can look at yourself in the mirror and you are damn proud and happy with what you see. It means that you have the qualities you search for in your heroes or ideals.

Ask yourself, what qualities do you admire in other people (especially your idols). These are the qualities you want to have. Once you get a list of all the qualities you want to have, you know what type of person you want to be.

For example:I admire Elon Musk’s creativity, intellect and bravery. I admire Jordan Belfort’s people and sales skills. I admire certain music stars such as Nicki Minaj and Drake for their confidence and joy in their craft.

These are the qualities I want to have. If I have these qualities in spades, I would consider myself my “dream person” or the person I would always want to be if I could build a person based on personality qualities.

What type of lifestyle do you need to live?

An important part of being successful is designing life the way you want. Your career is only a part of your life. Your lifestyle is made up of your career, outside of work activities, living location, personal relationships and more.

Answering questions like this will help you define what lifestyle you want:

  • How do you want your day to look?
  • How do you want your personal life to look?
  • How do you want to fill your time outside of work?
  • Where do you want to live?
  • What type of people do I want around me?

Your lifestyle is made up of many different things. The answers to the questions make up the major parts of your lifestyle. Once you can answer these questions, you can have a much clearer definition of what success means to you.

Look at Success Holistically

The answer is looking at success holistically instead of just one thing or a goal to achieve. When you find out what career you want to do regardless of money, what type of person you want to be and how you want your lifestyle to look, your definition of success will be much more clear. Being successful is having the life you want, not a particular job, income goal or material object.

When you define your success more holistically, you will know how to move forward. Also remember that your definition of success will change over time and that is ok! What you want in certain parts of your life will change, even possibly your dream careers. Don’t be afraid to switch gears completely depending on what you feel is right for your heart.

Bill Choudhry is an experienced cold outreach and outbound sales professional. His approach is non-salesy, consultative, and authentic. He enjoys long walks at the park, frisbee football, and baking magical brownies for his marketing friends.

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