What is YOUR Definition of Success?

I was just reading a blog post on BizLaunch and it inspired me to write this post on Success.  It’s a subject that I coach people on and it’s always surprising to hear the answers.  Usually, we first start by giving a definition of what we think success should be according to how we have been raised.

  • Having enough money
  • Having a successful business
  • Having an expensive car and house in the most prestigious neighbourhood of your city
  • Being a CEO or top executive in the company you work for
  • Being the best mom or dad you can be to your children
  • Being a World Champion in your sport
  • Winning a Nobel Prize
  • Being a world leader in your field of expertise
  • Being a community leader
  • Having a business and having fun while sharing your passion

When I looked in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, success has 3 meaning:  degree or measure of succeeding; the attainment of wealth, favor or eminence; favorable or desired outcome.  I like when I can to find the root of the word to see what the original meaning was, and in this case success comes from the Latin word successus which means an outcome.

As many people my definition of success was related to money, until I started my journey in the personal development world.  I now know that we evolve in many areas at the same time: personal, professional, relationships, spiritual, physical (body), and financial.  If I privilege only one of these areas, can I say that I am really successful?  For example I can have a very successful business, make very good money with it, but I have been divorced 3 times, I have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and a stiff back.  To what extent am I successful?  I have privileged 2 areas out of six and as a result I really don’t feel that successful, I feel my life is empty.  How can this be? I fit in the criterias I thought represented success in my world!

Let’s come back to the definition of success:  an outcome.  What is your preferred outcome, your ideal?  What if you started shaping your life according to that ideal or outcome?  Remember to have as many of the 6 areas as possible in your vision, and you will have a feeling of overall satisfaction when you look at your life.

I have learned this definition of success in Success Puzzle a program created by Bob Proctor: “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal”.  It has changed my whole perspective on what is success to ME, the most important person in my life.

Start your own reflection on what YOUR definition of success is, and share it by leaving a comment!

© 2010, Chantal Ouellette. All rights reserved.

2 Responses to “What is YOUR Definition of Success?”

  1. Hi Chantal,

    Interesting post, you asked what other peoples definitions of success were.

    From your ten bullet points mine would be – obviously the 1st one ‘Having enough money’ with the emphasis on ENOUGH.

    The 2nd one ‘Having a successful business’ could also qualify as would the 5th ‘Being the best mom or dad to your children’

    My others would be ‘Having good health to enjoy your life’, ‘Being the best you can at your job or profession’, ‘Having the time to spend with your family and friends’, and finally ‘Having the finance to enjoy your leisure activities’.

    These may seem simplistic to some people but they probably reflect my age (64) and I will admit that they would have been different many years ago when material possesions were more important.

    Regards,

    Bill

  2. Chantal Ouellette on July 8th, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Thank you Bill for sharing your own definitions of success. They really show that some reflection went into them. I could have made a very long list, but the purpose was to bring the reader, you, to start a reflection on what is really important to you. That’s really what success is all about!