Here is my slight adaption of a contribution from my colleagues at Resource Associates Corporation (RAC) that builds on the Definition of Success I live by and share with my clients:
Almost everyone I know, or can think of, wants the same thing: Success. How about you? Would you like for this year to be more successful than last year? Could anyone not want to be successful? Well, there’s been a lot written on the subject over the years, including some useful quotes:
- Woody Allen opinioned that “Eighty percent of success is showing up.”
- The oft-quoted William Feather said that “Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.”
- Someone else once said “The road to success is always under construction.”
- And Vince Lombardi, the immortal coach of the Green Bay Packers, noted that “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”
Everyone has his or her own ideas about what success looks like. You know part of my definition: rather than merely seek fame or fortune, I seek to be remarkable in the lives of others through service. Success for me is about having, doing and being; it’s about living a particular way, day-to-day. Success and joy go hand-in-hand. Success is individual and unique to everyone, so can there be a single definition of success? Success is something that we all strive and work hard for, so wouldn’t it be great if we could have a single definition of success that works for each of us?
I’d like to offer up a “Definition of Success”. This definition works works for me, I use it with my clients, and that I think it can work for each of you as well.
The continual achievement of your own predetermined goals, stabilized by balance, and purified by belief.
Let’s examine the elements of this definition more closely:
- Continual – Ongoing, steady, constant, uninterrupted, iterative. You can’t take a break from life or your pursuit of success, no matter your situation or circumstances, lest you become a victim. “Vacations”, by the way, are not leaving the pursuit; they merely provide rhythm.
- Achievement – Fulfillment, accomplishment, attainment, feat. You must take action. Ben Franklin said that “Well done is better than well said.” Progress must be made; otherwise you’re just treading water, if not losing ground.
- Your own – Your success is unique to you. Other people may have opinions about what success should mean for you, but only you can determine what is truly right for you.
- Predetermined – To define, decide or determine in advance, to have forethought.
Anything less is merely fortunate circumstance. Plan to be successful and your joy will be far greater than anything that happens by good fortune alone.
- Goals – Destinations, ambition, aims, objectives, targets. Dare to dream of true happiness, define it and go for it. Goals provide focus; otherwise, there is no direction. And make certain that you have WHY SMART goals (Written, Aligned, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistically High, and Time-based).
- Balance – Address all aspects of your life (social, career / financial, family, mental, ethics and beliefs, and physical) in a comprehensive manner. This doesn’t mean you must give them all equal focus at all times, but that you must consider your wants and needs in each area to help you focus on what is truly important at any given moment.
- Belief – Self-confidence, commitment, faith, trust, certainty, conviction, values – purpose. Ezra Pound said that “What matters is not the idea a man holds, but the depth at which he holds it.” You have to believe in yourself … if you don’t, who will?
Does this “Definition of Success” work for you? Try it on for size and see if it can help you (personally and professionally) achieve more of what you want and become more of who you want to be! Live by this definition and you will find yourself at The Intersection of Purpose & Now.
“Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.”
– Dale Carnegie