Stop and think for a moment: what does success look like to you? It’s different for everyone. For some, their success will be defined by their career. A corner office, a large staff working under you, perhaps running your own business. For some, it’s defined by accomplishments in your personal life. Getting married, having children, having a fulfilling home life. Others define success based on how they are perceived by the outside world: a large house, a nice car, a top-notch wardrobe. The definition is subjective. We all have our own personal yardstick for success, which is what keeps us motivated.
How Do We Define Success?
At many different points throughout my life, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted from my life and exactly what success would be for me. But gradually, that definition always changed. It’s disheartening to continually enter phases of my life where I don’t know what I want to do professionally, but I’m still early in my career, so I’m mostly okay with it.
Our yardstick for success is constantly changing as we gain new life experiences. As a college student or recent college grad, you shouldn’t expect to have your life planned out. Leave room for spontaneity and room to change your mind about what you want. Let your life lead you in new directions, new career paths, new relationships.
Even today I struggle to define what success looks like to me. I know I want to be a business owner and sole-entrepreneur, though I don’t know if I want to give up my current career to make that happen. I know I want to own a home and probably someday have children. Basically, my definition of success isn’t single-minded. I want to find balance and fulfillment in both my career and personal life.
Write Down Your Goals
I’m a very goals-based person. Every month I like to set a few goals for myself that I really want to accomplish that month, but I also have larger, long-term goals.
Celebrate Every Success
Even the small ones! Getting a small recognition at work or going on a great first date might not mean you’ve accomplished everything in your life, but it’s certainly a small success. Celebrating those will make the journey that much more fun. And really, it’s all about the journey.
Stop Comparing Your Success to Others
Too often we define our happiness and success by that of those around us. We see someone near us who is doing well, and we start using their yardstick to measure ourselves. We deem ourselves unsuccessful because they have something we don’t.
As bloggers, we’ve often been told not to compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. This is advice we should carry over into every facet of our life. Don’t let someone else’s success define yours. Don’t let someone else’s happiness define yours. Don’t let your yardstick or anyone else’s box you in or make you feel inferior.
What about you? How do you define success?
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