The First Step Toward Success Is Defining Success For Yourself

By Christopher D. Connors | Mar 13, 2024
Christopher D. Connors | ACHNET

The intent of this post is to demonstrate the value of defining success for yourself. I’ll write in a very direct tone. I won’t mince words and I won’t say that your goals and dreams will come easy. My intent is to demonstrate that success should only ever be how you define it. Success is not just defined in monetary terms. It is not earned by the acceptance others.

Success and a life of happiness is yours for the choosing. Later in this article, I will provide you with my personal definition of success, as a guide, but please only use it as a guide. I hope that you will take the time to think about what in this life will bring you joy, satisfaction and meaning.

One of the great models in life, the late Coach John Wooden, defined success as follows: “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”

Success is an attitude. Success requires maximum effort. It is peace of mind and a state of mind. And please note the emphasis on “self” in self-satisfaction. Your success should never be determined by the approval or recognition of others. If so, you’ll live a highly disappointing life.

I used to enter into many of life’s moments without giving things much thought. Now, with each project, business venture and dream that I pursue in life, I always ask myself the question, “What will success look like?”

I have demanded of myself that I answer this question in relation to the strategic direction I am taking in my professional endeavors. Hopefully you will too.

Dream Big

This is really simple: If you have the idea to begin something, you should at least have a BIG dream in mind of what success or self-fulfillment will look like. That comes through the power of imagination. Imagination needs to lead to organized planning.

That is where the definition of success kicks in, which is then followed by objectives, goals and tasks- from the large to small-scale efforts. If you’re serious about becoming great at what you do and reaching your maximum potential, you will find the time to define what success means for you.

As I’ve written about previously, there is magic in putting your plan into writing. You can visualize your plan. Visualization is imperative! Visualization gets your juices flowing and makes you hunger for achieving your goal. Visualization and imagination go hand in hand- as they kindle the fire inside of you that fuels your motivation and determination.

There is power in reciting your plan- your dreams- by speaking them out loud. Last but not least, you mix faith with your written and spoken words, to fuse them together; the rest is all about executing your plan. You need the courage and energy to propel yourself forward and never look back, as long as you believe you’re on the right path.

My Why

I want to share with you my Why for what I do, and my personal definition of success. I arrived at each of these after a lot of deep thought, prayer and self-analysis. I encourage you to do the same thing. My confidence has dramatically increased. I believe I’m going in the right direction, by leaving worry and anxiety behind.

That’s the beauty of having a plan or road map. In rush hour traffic, you may need to change course from time-to-time, but you’re still trying to get to the same destination. The detours and deviations we need to make will be easier to navigate, if we’re confident in where we’re going.

My Why: To help others and make a tangible difference in their lives through my writing, speaking and coaching

My Definition Of Success

To live each moment to the maximum with a positive attitude, smile and genuine enjoyment for life, while loving my family and the people around me, and pursuing the plan and dreams that God has planted in my heart.

Goals that support my definition of success:

  • To live by the Golden Rule
  • To become a bestselling author and writer who promotes a positive, inspiring message and influences people’s lives for the better
  • To live up to my personal values and principles and do try my best each day in all of my relationships and endeavors
  • To support my livelihood through my personal business endeavors and ventures

Your Move

I implore you to put in writing what success is for you and, to share it with others. Doing this will give it life! Your success should always derive from the values and principles that you hold dear: Tried and true qualities that have stood the test of time.

Qualities that you have observed and admired in the lives of others- either in the present or through figures in history. Qualities that you have already put in practice in your own life that have helped you to increase in favor and abundance of faith, happiness and peace of mind.

Continue to live boldly. Never settle for anything less than what you believe to be your best.

This article originally appeared here.