A short time ago, I was in the great state of Florida enjoying the warm and sunny climate. Being an early riser and not wanting to awaken the others, I decided to head out to the beach and go for a nice, long stroll. It was the perfect time of day to be out there because no one was around, which made it easy to throw on my music and just walk as I took in the gorgeous view around me.
At some point during the walk, I remember thinking that this is what success feels like. It is the water lapping at my feet and the sun beginning to shine as it starts to crest over the water, making its first appearance of the day. Obviously, what I am calling “success” goes somewhat against the conventional grain. No, it isn’t about the material goods or the money to me. It is about being able to walk alone on the deserted beach with my music playing softly in my ears as I disconnect from the stress and responsibilities of my day-to-day life.
Achieving “Success” is a topic that gets air time even in our casual conversations. Unfortunately, this makes it very easy to compare our notions of what makes us successful with the standards and definitions of those around us. We often doubt ourselves and wonder if others’ standards should be adopted as our own. We think about their goals and question whether we need to set the same ones too.
However, one’s success cannot be determined by someone else’s standards. Instead, it is an individualized and personalized process that one has to arrive at on his or her own.
The question is then, what does success mean to you? More specifically, what has to happen in order for you to feel that your life is a success? To help you answer this, think about what image appears in your mind when you visualize yourself reaching your goals and living life the way you want to live it.
Take a moment and consider your professional life. What has to happen in order for you to feel as if you’ve achieved the highest level you hope to achieve? Does it involve meeting certain sales goals? Acquiring a specific number of clients or specific clients? Earning a pre-determined annual income?
Now, dig a little deeper and ask yourself why these things are important to you. In other words, how does meeting those goals or reaching those exact levels translate to your own personal and professional fulfillment? What type of lifestyle would open up to you? Would you become the person you want to be to yourself as well as to others?
This process of setting your own trajectory for success takes some soul searching and requires that you learn about and understand yourself inside and out. Sure, you can go through life and set your goals according to what others think success is……. if you want. The inherent problem is that this kind of success won’t necessarily bring you happiness. Why? Because it doesn’t radiate from the depth of your own intelligence and understanding of what success means TO YOU.
So, take a few minutes and think about what success is to you. The more you can define it for you and you alone, the easier it will be to reach. And the happier you will be once you do.