Defining Success

When we’re struggling, feelings of failure come with the territory. Maybe there are just one or two areas of life where you feel like you’re failing. Or maybe you feel like your whole life is a lost cause.  

We need a simple definition of success that we can apply to our day-to-day life – that we can use to answer the question: right now, today, am I successful? 

The definition that helps me is:  Success means living according to your values and acting according to your priorities.  

It’s not about what you have or what you accomplish. It’s not about earning good grades, getting a great job, buying a nice house, having a loving family. It’s not about having lots of friends or reaching spiritual enlightenment. It’s not even being on the road to any of these things. 

At the end of the day, all we need to ask ourselves is: did I live according to my values today? Did I act according to my priorities? If I value financial security, then it’s a priority to have a job. So, if I went to work, no matter what happened there, then I lived according to my values and priorities. If I value family, then it’s a priority to spend time with them. If I did that, regardless of how they responded to my effort, then I was successful. 

With this definition to guide us, we put the focus on what we can control, not on what we can’t. We decide what our life is about, and the only rule is that we should be true to ourselves, as best we can, every single day.

Today’s thought: “Action expresses priorities.” Mahatma Gandhi

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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