What is Your Own Definition of Success?

Many people believe that money is the ultimate success. However, there are many wealthy people that are utterly miserable. Maybe success is about more than just money.


You can define what success looks like for yourself. Is success about money? It can be if that’s what you choose, but it can also be about life in general. Why not set several criteria for different areas of your life?


What’s important is to create a definition for success that resides within your values, allows you to enjoy life, and avoids feelings of regret when you get older. This is easier to determine than you might think.


Your definition of success is unique and yours to determine.


Consider each of these areas:


  1. Time. Many people value time above all else. Most of us wouldn’t enjoy having an abundance of money if we never had the opportunity to enjoy it. Do you wish you had more free time? How much free time do you need to enjoy your life to the fullest? What would you do with this free time?
  2. Friends. Do you value your friends? How much do your friendships mean to you? How many friends do you need in order to feel successful? How much time would you need to spend with your friends to feel like your life is a success?
  3. Personal development. Do you need to learn to play an instrument or to speak German to feel successful? A college degree? Climb a peak over 25,000 feet? Learn to program in Python? Be able to meditate for three hours straight? Perform 10 perfect pull ups?(or even 1 pull up in my case)
  4. Providing for your family, with money or time. Maybe you believe that success means giving your children the opportunity to attend a top university. You might also want to be able to pay for such an expensive education. Perhaps an annual ski holiday for you and your family means you are successful? What does a successful family life look like to you? How much time do you spend together?
  5. Adventure. Maybe success means living an adventurous life. You might race motorcycles on the weekend and train as a Navy Seal during the week. It’s possible that taking a train across Tibet and living in a commune is your cup of tea.
  6. Happiness. Success might be all about happiness to you. Maybe you measure success each day by how happy you were. Spending a few minutes at the end of every day journaling can help you measure your happiness.
  7. Goals. Success can be measured by how successful you are in achieving your goals. Many people enjoy the challenge of setting big goals and having the determination and discipline to make them a reality. Does this sound like you?
  8. Living to an ideal. Do you have a strong vision of how the perfect life should be lived? Do you have a strong moral code? Maybe your brand of success revolves around how well you live up to that ideal. What type of person do you want to be each day?
  9. Career. Some people consider themselves successful if they have a successful career. Regular promotions and greater wages can be one way to measure success. Maybe you want to excel at a career or industry?
  10. Doing for others. The ultimate measure of success for some people is helping others. Many people thrive on being useful and helping others to succeed.


Your definition of success will likely have multiple criteria.

Having a lot of free time might be important to you, but not at the cost of your children going without food.


Examine your own values and beliefs and create your own version of success.

Project yourself far into the future and imagine the type of life you want to look back upon. Now, adopt a definition of success that works for you!


Remind yourself of this definition each day. Write this definition down somewhere you can read it regularly throughout your day. This can help influence your decisions and help you feel more successful.