How Do You Define Success?
Let’s have a little career chat. Specifically around success. We always hear about why it’s important to have a one year plan, five year plan, ten year plan. It’s great to be goal oriented – but keep in mind that goals change. My definition of success today is different than what it was five years ago. I’m sure if I was married with kids, it would be even more different. The way you define success is also probably very different from me. Point being: no two people share the exact same definition of success.
How do you define success?
You guys, the quarter life crisis is real. Talking to my college friends and other people in their mid to late twenties, I quickly realized we are all kind of in the same boat. While it was comforting learning I’m not alone in not knowing what I want to do for the rest of my life, it still didn’t answer any of my own internal questions.
Lately I’ve been thinking about my career and the path I’m on. We recently took a “personality test” at work (similar to Myers Briggs) and I learned that my personality shows strong preferences for several different working styles and traits. While you shouldn’t take the results of these tests as gospel, it did do a lot in helping explain why I’m always so damn indecisive. Especially when it comes to my career.
I work a corporate job and I’ve always loved working. I know the 9-to-5 life isn’t for everyone, but in my early to mid twenties, the stability and routine was right for me. Getting solid work experience and learning a lot was very important to me. Now, I find myself asking “what’s next?” constantly and not knowing the answer. At the same time, I love blogging and would love to invest more time and energy into it. There are SO many posts I want to work on but I’ve felt restricted because of my schedule and time. With that said – I’ve never felt even close to being ready to pull the trigger and go all in on the blog. It’s not the right move for me. So in the meantime, I told myself I’d do it all and figure it out along the way. It’s been quite the journey filled with its own ups and downs.
If you’re going through something similar, I highly recommend this reading. It’s a little lengthy but I really enjoyed the framework presented for thinking about success. I know it might sound silly to have a framework for success, but hear me out! By filling out your own personal “kaleidoscope,” you may find that you’re putting too much or too little emphasis on one area of your life, which may be why you are feeling unbalanced or stressed.
The authors write:
“…many people assume success requires a winner-takes-all approach. They believe that success depends on putting all your energy into achieving one goal, be it a single-minded focus on your job or a commitment to being the best soccer mom in your community. But no matter how noble, one goal can’t satisfy all of a person’s complex needs and desires, as the examples at the beginning of the article demonstrate. The same holds true for the goals of a business.”
We all have different definitions of success, because we all have different goals. We’re never driving towards just one goal – we have goals in all aspects of our life, be it personal, professional, financial.
What the article gets into is the idea of enduring success.
“We were interested in real, enduring success—where getting what you want has rewards that are sustainable for you and those you care about. This type of attainment delivers a sense of legitimacy and importance; its satisfactions endure far beyond the momentary rewards of a bonus or a new position. Lasting success is emotionally renewing, not anxiety provoking.”
The key is lasting success.
What is lasting success made of?
+ Happiness – feeling pleasure or contentment about your life
+ Achievement – accomplishments that measure up against goals you have strived for
+ Significance – feeling like you’ve made a positive impact on the people you care about
+ Legacy – a way to establish your values or accomplishments so as to help others find future success
While I can’t say I’ve figured it all out, I will say sitting down and thinking long and hard about my own goals and how I define success has been helpful in guiding me towards the right next step. By thinking about these components of lasting success – happiness, achievement, significance, and legacy – and defining them in my own terms – I find myself much more comfortable with the path that I’m currently on (and know what areas I may need some work in!)
SO. Please share – how do you define success?
Have a wonderful weekend!! I’ll be shooting some new recipes (including some summer cocktails!) that I can’t wait to share with you guys soon. xx