The Straight Truth

Developing Your Definition of Success

Developing Your Definition of Success

When we conduct our Mindset of Accountability Assessment, there is an important and vital mindset measure that answered truthfully delivers unspeakable power to you and your life.

Item #5 I am totally responsible for my success at work [life].

Think about it. Are you totally responsible for success in your life or do you just think you are?

Granted, success is a big word that must be defined by YOU. And then, you have to keep defining success. Short of that you may have grabbed life by the tail at some point but now find all you are doing is holding on for the ride. Maybe you are challenged by keeping a secure hold and have to adjust your grasp now and then. It’s fun, at first, but not very satisfying over time for many reasons. More and more may seem “out of your control.”

“How can I be totally responsible for my success when so much is out of my control?”

What is your definition of success? When is the last time you stopped to think about it and write it down? When is the last time you shared your definition of success with someone who is committed to your success? I’m not sure one can expect support in their success journey if the destination isn’t clear with full ownership to get there.

“But I don’t know what I want!”

Knowing what you want isn’t the same as knowing what success is to you. Usually we think of success in terms of setting and achieving goals or knowing what your interest is and going to college to get a degree to work in that field. The panic or pressure of “undeclared major” for some is all too real and that’s a pity. It doesn’t have to be that way.

“How do you develop a [personal /professional] definition of success if you do not have one?”

Well, you have just moved into step one if you’ve read this far and asked this very question.

First, it is important to know that your definition of success is individual and unique to you. There is no right or wrong or “committee of others” that gets to weigh in. A definition of success is about what makes you [professionally] successful according to you. If professional success isn’t what you are after and you want to focus on “success in life” because your personal life is a wreck, fine…look there. For some it is a combination of both and may even go a little further to their volunteer or community life. Second, you can be as general or as specific as you want to be. It is up to you how you define your success. And to do so is a big step.

“The purpose and importance of your definition of success is to live in it now.”

You may or may not subscribe to the power of now but at the end of the day, for all of us, now is all we have. It is possible to be successful moment-by-moment of living with a definition of success that works like a compass. Point the compass where you want to go and it works with you to get on course based on where you are. You may change your mind and point elsewhere and that’s fine, it adjusts accordingly.

If you think of your definition of success this way, you are demonstrating you have accepted 100% responsibility and accountability for living successfully in your life – you own it.

Your definition of success can change as your life situation changes. For example, your professional definition of success while in your 20s and not in a significant relationship may be very different when you are in your 40s with a family. If you are in integrity with your [professional] definition of success you can make those changes and remain totally responsible for your success at work and in life.

Your definition of success is not to be confused with a goal as in you meet it or not; or that you are working hard to achieve something.

“Your definition of success is a commitment that you make to yourself; an intention of how you will live and conduct your life everyday.”

The definition of success is not a hard and fast rule; there is no right or wrong – however, being in integrity with it allows you to make conscience choices regarding external situations.

Are you ready to get started? Do you want to go exploring and see where you are and what success is to you? This is exciting!!

I’d suggest you not look ahead to the writing exercise until you are really ready to give it your full focus and quiet time that won’t be interrupted. Then, email me for the written exercise; subject line Definition of Success.

Those who are living in their success as a result of this exercise reported this was singularly important – “Do this alone and where there is no interruption or distraction”. If you are handwriting the responses pick a favorite pen and paper you like. If you are on your computer, turn off all the bells and beeps and signals so that it is just you and the blank space after each question. Invite the “committee of others” to leave you alone for the hour or two you may be engaged in this process.

The writing exercise is designed for those specifically wanting to define professional success. Sometimes the line between personal and professional is blurred and that is fine. Don’t fight it. Respond to the questions as responses come to you. Filtering and editing can come later. If you attempt to filter and edit as you go, you will fall into what is often a control pattern that will circle back to where you are now. Ready to take off? Give it a try! Define Success.