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Develop your own version of Success

Updated: Mar 16, 2022

Consider these 6 questions to build your own definition of success.

What is your definition of success? Most people try to live up to the definition of society's success without considering whether it is the best choice for them.

Ask others about success and you may hear a variation in these responses:

Fancy car or two – Mercedes, BMW, Lexus

Nice house – Big, with a swimming pool, in a gated community

Respectable corporate job – something worthy of bragging about

Attractive spouse

Those things are great if they're your choice. But, if you take the time to think about it, your definition of success might be: Single, travelling the world, running my own business from a laptop, having adventures each day, and wearing flip-flops at least eight hours each day. Someone with this definition of success would be miserable in the first scenario.

You could end up doing something you're not happy about.

Avoid disappointment by creating your own definition of success!

Think about the following questions:

1. What is my legacy to my children and to the world?

At the end of your life, what would you like to look back on? Is it wealth and a vast business empire? Would you leave a series of good deeds behind? Do you want to look back on a life full of adventures?

How would you have wanted to spend your time?

What financial resources do you want to leave behind?

What do you want to be known for?

2. What are the values I hold?

A lifetime of living your values is going to be rewarding. Most people have a vague sense of what matters to them, but few take the time to think about it carefully. Take out a piece of paper and write down your values.

3. What should I do?

List everything that you want to see and do. Everything from skydiving to walking on the Great Wall of China. Write it down.

4. What kind of life would I like to experience?

You might desire a conventional marriage and six children with a white picket fence in the suburbs. Or you might want to live alone in a Manhattan condo and fully enjoy the nightlife for the first 20 years of adult life.

5. What do I need for success?

Imagine a variety of scenarios and figure out what would make you feel successful. Is it living in a cabin in the woods with few responsibilities? Or living in a 15,000-square foot penthouse? Consider different careers and lifestyles. Which one feels like success to you?

6. What if nobody else knew?

The idea of owning a Ferrari might seem like a success, but what if no one else knew you owned it? Would you still feel you were doing well? An ideal version of success would not involve anyone else's opinions.

Look for a version of success that is meaningful to you, even if others don't know about your possessions and achievements.

There is not a one-size-fits-all definition of success. It's important not to get caught in the trap of trying to impress your friends and family. Develop a version of success that means something to you, regardless of the values of society. You might find that your version of success is a lot more enjoyable and easier to reach.

What is your definition of success? Your own definition will require you to like what you do and how you do it. Will you like the person you’ve become?

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