title:What Does Success Mean to You?

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author:Brian Bartes
date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:19

When you think of “success” what comes to mind? Maybe you think of a business owner with a wife, two kids, a dog, and a white picket fence surrounding a big suburban house? Maybe you think of a single, up-and-comer businesswoman with a fancy apartment in the city and a closet full of designer clothes?
In reality, “success” is what makes you happy, not what makes society happy. Perhaps the two individuals in the examples above are successful—but only if they’re happy.
People view success very differently. Let’s say two women both in their early thirties have comparable account manager positions in an advertising agency. One, named Kristy just returned from maternity leave, and the other Lynne has no children and is focusing on her career.
Kristy is very content because she is able to put in her eight hours a day and then go home to her baby. She likes her job, but she is working just to collect a paycheck. She isn’t looking to advance her career.
Lynne is very ambitious and has many professional goals. She’s working overtime and taking on extra projects to prove herself to management. She’s often praised for her determination and good work ethic.
When comparing the two employees side-by-side, Lynne “appears” to be the more successful employee because Kristy does only what is required of her to get the job done and Lynne goes above and beyond. However, in actuality both employees feel that they’re successful in their own minds.
What does success mean to you? Maybe it means:
•Raising a family.
•Spreading the word of God.
•Climbing the corporate ladder.
•Sending your kids to college.
•Serving your country.
•Staying sober.
•Traveling the world.
•Helping the less fortunate.
•Running a marathon.
•Buying a sports car.
•Skydiving to conquer your fear of heights.
If you haven’t determined what success means to you, you might feel lost. You might wonder what your purpose is in life. You might try to figure out in which direction you should go.
So, how do you determine what success means to you? Try this simple approach:
1. Take time.
Take some time and really think about what makes you happy.
2. Make a list.
List what you need to do to achieve this happiness.
3. Break it down.
Break down the steps into achievable tasks, so you can actually see the progress you are making.
4. Evaluate your progress.
Success doesn’t happen overnight. Keep close tabs on your tasks and make sure that you are not only following through with them, but that they still support your goal of happiness.
5. Reward yourself.
Reward yourself for progress and completion of a job well done!
When you know what success means to you, you will feel purposeful, fulfilled, and content. You won’t worry about keeping up with other people or trying to live by their standards. You should also respect other people’s definitions of success. So, do what makes you happy and you can say “Yes, I am successful!”


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