The Definition of Success


Finding a lifestyle that works for you

Take a moment to think about a person you consider successful. Now ask yourself, what is it about that person’s life that makes you feel that they’re a success. Evaluating success and progress keeps me honest and focused on the end result. In the February 2016 issue of CAWLM, I published a list of my “Drop in the Bucket” goals for the year. Evaluating my own success and progress keeps me on track to ensure that I reach the goals I set four months ago.

Formerly, I used to view success as a person who climbed the corporate ladder, made an amazing salary and was regarded as an authority in their profession. While my definition wasn’t entirely wrong, I believe it’s important to challenge my motivation for applying that meaning to it. If I’m being completely honest, fear probably shaped my view of success; for example, my fear of being excluded or living life with lack of purpose may have been the reason why a career was such an important measurement of success to me. Why not; it’s natural to link your self-worth to your skills and abilities. However, that doesn’t make it true.

Creating my own definition of success is the best way to go. Since my sense of purpose is unique to me, the way I measure the accomplishments in my life should be as well. I thought a lot about success when I had a chance to confront my fears and self-doubt. I found myself comparing my situation to others and placing my own value on what I thought made other people important. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have role models and acquire the best that life has to offer, but you don’t have to experience life as if it were “a one size fits all” situation.

For some people, success is challenging to define because there are so many images of people around us that it’s difficult to comprehend our own purpose. We can become overwhelmed with self-doubt, depression and anxiety when the outcome of our situation doesn’t match the images that we see.

My definition of success is being true to myself and living up to my potential. It doesn’t exclude folks that have dedicated their talents to building an awesome career. On the contrary, it includes many others that may have a desire and/or passion that is specific to their life.

I encourage you to understand who you are and your capabilities. Whether it’s being a successful parent, professional, public servant, etc., become committed to asking and answering the question, “what is my definition of success?” Recognize temptations, unhealthy fears, plan ahead, monitor your progress, persist when times get tough and make an effort. Don’t feel obligated to live by anyone else’s definition but be inspired to create your own.

Feel free to share your answer to the question with me on my Facebook page – Drop in the Bucket List, or email me directly at


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