Success is difficult to define for many people. The basic idea of success revolves around accomplishing a specific aim or purpose. However, those aims and objectives vary significantly from person to person – depending on an individual’s personal goals, dreams, and aspirations, how they define success can differ wildly from others’ depictions of success!
Therefore, what it means to find success in your life will be unique to your personal interests and goals. You may define success differently from your parents, best friends, coworkers, and teachers.
Something that brings you feelings of success may not cause others to feel the same way. This can mean that what you do to find success in your life may confuse others; they may not understand why you’re going after a specific goal because they don’t understand why you define reaching that goal as a success. Just because other people don’t share your definition of success doesn’t mean your definition is wrong – it is simply specific to you!
Because your definition of success is unique, it’s also natural to see that definition flex and change over time. As you grow, learn, and explore further, it’s natural to see your goals and aspirations change along with you.
Because of this, it’s essential to get comfortable with redefining success. For example, your future self may define success differently than your current self.
What are some general characteristics of a successful person?
Although specific definitions of success exist on a broad spectrum, some key characteristics are common among people who consider themselves successful. Some of those characteristics include…
- Successful people feel great satisfaction in life.
Folks who embody their images of success are often quite satisfied with their lives. Rather than pining after the “next greatest thing” or constantly comparing themselves to others, they are pretty happy with what they already have in their lives.
- Successful people are willing to be vulnerable.
Successful folks understand that vulnerability is an essential part of finding success. Since the definition of success can change over time as they evolve and learn, successful people are comfortable with being vulnerable. They can know more and use that information to reassess their definition of success.
- Successful people have healthy self-esteem.
Meeting your individual definition of success requires you to be confident in yourself. This is especially true if your definition of success differs significantly from others’ definitions of what it means to be successful. When you meet your definition of your personal success, you likely know yourself quite well and feel comfortable in your own skin.
What are some different ways a person can define success for themselves?
People can define success in a wide variety of ways. Understanding some of the significant areas where people define their success often reflects their values and beliefs about what is most important in life.
- Professional life and career.
A person’s professional life and career can be a massive point of how they might define success. Finding deep satisfaction in their work, believing that their work makes an impact, and learning more about their professional field may be important ways a person who focuses on their career defines success.
- Family life, friendships, and romantic relationships.
For people who believe their family, friendships, and romances are most valuable to them, they likely consider these relationships a part of their definition of success. Meeting new people, cultivating good relationships, and treating those with whom they have relationships are all critical aspects of finding success for these folks.
- Socio-economic status.
Sometimes this mark of defining success is tied closely with a person’s professional life and career. Success is determined by how lofty they are in socioeconomic status for these folks. Having a significant amount of money and wealth is a major mark of achievement for people who consider their socioeconomic status a part of their success definition.
- Knowledge, education, and intellect.
Knowledge, education, and intellect are essential to many folks’ definitions of success. Whether chasing after a new degree or certification, reading up on a new topic, or trying to master a new skill, these folks define success by how much they know and constantly chase after new knowledge.
- Physical health and athletic ability.
Physical ability is a significant marker of success for many people. Being physically fit, taking good care of their bodies, and listening to their bodies’ signals are all majorly crucial to people who see their physical health and athletic abilities as a part of their definition of success.
How can you begin the process of redefining what success means to you?
Firstly, you can begin redefining what success means to you by accepting that it’s normal and natural for your definition of success to change over time. Sometimes people struggle to let go of definitions of success that no longer serve them – especially when their goals are tied closely to these old, outdated definitions. Permitting yourself to explore a new definition of success is key to getting started.
Next, you’ll need to take a personal inventory. You can do this on paper if you prefer to have everything written out in front of you – sometimes, being able to sort your thoughts and ideas on paper helps you visualise everything you’re trying to organise.
Your personal inventory is an extensive list of everything that’s currently important to you: Your current goals, your dreams, your pleasures in life, your values, and your beliefs.
Once you have a personal inventory, you can compare that extensive list with your current definition of success. Do you see any trends or patterns in your current personal stock? This can indicate that something is missing from how you currently define success. Use this list to restructure and redefine what success means to you.