Defining Success

Each of us define success differently, even if we don’t necessary acknowledge that definition.  The dictionary defines success as:

1. achievement of intention: the achievement of something planned or attempted

On the surface most of us would agree with that definition, but underneath I believe there is much more to success than checking things off of a list of goals.  I believe it is more about how that achievement makes us feel.  We attempt things because we are looking to satisfy an emotional need.
I have an exercise that will help you determine what success truly means for you.  Success for me is about helping and supporting others.  But the measuring stick is whether I am being acknowledged for what I do.  That acknowledgement is my definition of success.  Not the money, not a title, not what someone believes I must do for success, now don’t get me wrong, I like the money, title and I want others to be happy as well, but those items are simply the result of my personal need for acknowledgement being satisfied.
Not sure exactly how you determine whether you are successful or not?  Try this exercise.  Close your eyes and visualize a situation where you are successful.  Imagine the colors, scent, temperatures, people that surround you, the sounds you will hear and the physical environment.  Do you have a really clear picture in your mind?  If you do then look at your emotions in that moment, what are you feeling? How does the situation make you feel about yourself?  What need is being satisfied as a result of your accomplishment?  If you are able to identify the emotional need that is satisfied you now know what success really means for you.  Now you can be deliberate about placing yourself in situations that will support that need.
I know there will be those who disagree with my assessment of success.  They will be determined to convince me that money or some other material item will determine if they are successful.  But I believe if they look beneath the surface they will discover that the money may in fact satisfies their need for security, which would really mean that they feel successful when they have a sense of security.
Try my exercise and share what you have discovered about yourself and success.  Then go out and be intentional about creating success in your life.

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