How to Define Success

Опубликовал Admin
16-12-2020, 16:40
Defining success can be difficult as the term itself is so abstract. In order to define success, take a look at your own personal goals, interests, and passions. Then, formulate a definition of success that's personally meaningful for you.

Defining Career Success

  1. Accept there are many ways to define career success. Career success need not have a rigid, set definition. While many insist on defining career success based on measurable qualities, such as salary and ranking, there are many ways to define success in your career based on your goals.
    • Part of what makes it difficult to precisely define career success is that there are so many factors at play. Your relationship with your co-workers, your reputation in your field, your salary, your benefits, and more all play a role in whether you can consider yourself successful. A lot of people feel overwhelmed by the many factors that influence their sense of success.
    • To avoid feeling stressed about whether your successful in traditional terms, try to view your career success in a personal manner. Do you feel fulfilled by your job? Are you happy going into work in the mornings? Much of success is unfortunately beyond your control. You need to accept there are various definitions of success and what ultimately matters is your own sense of worth and fulfillment.
  2. Define your passions. If you're looking to define success, first define your priorities and passions. Whether or not your career helps you fulfill your passions is a major determining factor in whether or not you feel successful.
    • Think about when you were younger. What did you want to be when you grew up as a child? What were your goals in college? Are you using your degree? Why or why not? Oftentimes, people fall into a career path and lose track of their true passions and interests. Conversely, people who feel stressed over their career feel successful when they realize their work truly reflects their passion.
    • Do not fear change. Sometimes, defining one's passions can help with a personal definition of success. Acknowledging what you're doing in the present moment is not, by your standards, successful is scary. It can also be an opportunity to grow. If you always wanted to be a teacher, for example, and work in marketing consider returning to school for a teaching degree. In some states, community colleges may allow you to teach with just an undergraduate education.
  3. Examine factors that are important to you. What is really important to you? Do you crave prestige and honor? Does climbing the corporate ladder, making connections, and closing deals sound like an ideal career? Or are you more idealistically oriented? Does the idea of making a difference and helping others inspire you? There is no wrong way to crave success, but acknowledging what factors truly matter to you as an individual can help you define success.
  4. Define career success in your own terms. It's vital that you avoid outside definitions of success. Research shows the happiest, most fulfilled people across all careers are those who define success based on personal goals, passions, and desires.
    • Try to write down your definition of success and put in a place where you can see it each day. Reminding yourself of your goals can help you on your way to success.
    • Your definition of success should be somewhat vague. As so much of success is beyond your personal control, keep your definition all encompassing. Something like, "I want to feel fulfilled in my work every day and do a job that's intellectually stimulating for me."
  5. View life as a continuous journey rather than a series of goals. Many people view success as a series of goals. You get your degree, then a job, then a promotion, and so on. Oftentimes, people find their measurable success to be somewhat hollow and disappointing. Once you've reached a goal, you may feel disappointed that you're not as happy or fulfilled as you thought. Instead, view your life as a continuous journey where you try to do a bit better each day. This will keep you stimulated and emotionally and intellectually active longterm.

Defining Personal Success

  1. Define family success through love. Family success is difficult to define as it's so intangible. Breaking down family success into achievable goals can be difficult as, even more so than career success, so much is beyond an individual's direct goal. Instead, view family success in terms of being able to love and love in return.
    • Setting firm goals for family success is hard. If you want to, say, have 3 kids by the time you're 35 there are many factors that can get in the way. You may not meet a significant other until your older. Your husband, wife, or longterm partner may only want 1 or 2 kids. It may take longer to conceive or adopt or whatever process you were looking into. Setting firm goals for your family life means you're setting yourself up for disappointment.
    • Instead, try to cultivate better relationships with those around you. Make goals that are somewhat vague but still important. Success should be a matter of staying open to love by learning to apologize, communicate, and share. Your goals should be to stay close to your family and keep communication strong throughout your life.
  2. Reexamine yourself and your priorities. Continually re-examining yourself and your priorities can help assure personal success. People change all the time and what you wanted at 25 might not be the same as what you want at 30.
    • What you want out of friendships and romantic relationships is subject to evolve with time. At 22, you may value your independence but, at 28, long for a more committed relationship. It's okay if your definition of success changes just as long as you're willing to change with it.
    • If you find your personal goals, wants, and needs have shifted you might have to change your lifestyle a bit. Say you were always comfortable being slightly overweight but you suddenly want to work on getting a slimmer figure. You may have to change how you eat and your level of physical activity. Be open to change based on any shifts in your values. Periodically take a day to reexamine what you want from life.
  3. Do not compare yourself to others. Measuring personal success is a highly individual and therefore subjective matter. Comparing yourself to others can be toxic to a healthy definition of success. Do not pay attention to how other people are in friendships and romantic relationships. What matters is your wants and needs and whether or not you're pursuing them in a way that makes you feel personally fulfilled.
  4. Define personal success in a way that's meaningful to you. Much like career success, how you define personal success should reflect your values. There's no wrong way to feel personally fulfilled. Some people see personal success as having 4 kids and being a stay at home parent. Others see success as having no children and having the freedom to vacation for a few weeks each summer. Both goals are equally valid and important. Define personal success on your own terms, based on your own values.


  • No one will ever be a perfect success. You must recognize a certain level of failure in any success story as a part of human nature.
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