In the world today, the people we consider “successful” have certain achievements which include but are not limited to: fame, wealth, influence, properties, businesses, etc. No matter the industry these people find themselves in, from tech to entertainment, the general consensus for qualifying them as successful is usually hinged on mostly wealth and influence. No doubt, these are great things to have, but the truth is that a lot of people grow up thinking that until they get a million dollars, or go viral on the internet or have a million followers on instagram or become the CEO of a multi million dollar establishment, they are not yet successful. The image of success presented in our world today does not do enough justice to the true meaning of success. So what then is success?
Success is the accomplishment of your goals.
Your definition of success should be centred around your goals and your purpose in life. The first step in defining success for yourself is to sit down and figure out your goals. What would you like to achieve in life? What will leave you feeling fulfilled, both long term and short term? A big question to ask yourself might be “what is the purpose for which I’m on this earth?”. Answering these question will lead you down the right path of defining success for yourself. Success could mean writing a book, or following a career path, or managing a non-profit organization.
Success is dynamic.
It changes as we step into different stages and seasons of our lives. When I was in high school, success meant having straight As every semester. In university, success meant graduating with honours, completing co-op work terms at tech companies, buying a car etc. At every stage of my life, I always have a list of things I’d like to accomplish. This list consists of both long and short term accomplishments. Someone else might decide that success to them means owning a home, so they work towards achieving that. A couple years down the line after purchasing their home, the same person decides that they want to start a business – that becomes their new definition of success. The key thing to remember here is that success isn’t a fixed thing, it changes with times and seasons.
Success is progressive.
Achieving success should never stop, unless you stop aspiring and setting new goals for yourself. Sometimes, the more you achieve, the more motivation you have to do more. That’s why the saying goes “the rich keep getting richer”. If you ever find yourself getting stuck on what success means to you, find some inspiration in the lives of people you admire. In as much as success should be defined according to your own terms, sometimes inspiration from others is the necessary fuel you need to keep pushing and accomplishing your goals.
Where possible, success should be diversified. Your success should not be defined by one thing alone because life happens. So many things are here today and gone tomorrow. Think of the stock market and investments: except you have 100% assurance of how well a particular stock will do, it is usually advised, and more profitable to have a diverse portfolio. Find success in your health, career, wealth, family, hobbies, relationships, and other things that matter to you. They might not all carry the same weight, but at least you have a diverse portfolio.
Ultimately, success is about finding fulfillment in the things you do and having a sense of accomplishment knowing that you have achieved the things you set out to do.