Success isn’t something that only happens for a lucky few.
The wonderful thing about success is that we have the opportunity to choose it. We can each define success according to what is important to us in our lives. Then, we can begin creating our own outcomes by taking action.
Are you clear on how you define success?
When I was talking to someone recently about the importance of crystallizing a vision of success, I painted this picture: Take pizza, for example. Everyone can tell you how they like their pizza.
Thin crust or hand-tossed. Some need gluten free. Veggie supreme, meet lovers, or only pepperoni. No cheese, soy cheese, extra cheese. Everything but the mushrooms. Ham and pineapple, please.
Whatever else it may be, people know how they like their pizza!
(I realize that some people may not like pizza. If that’s the case, I’m sure they can tell you exactly why.)
The point that I am making is that the further I delve into this work, the more I realize how clear we often are about the tiny, mundane details (how we like our pizza, the type of music we like…) of our lives and how ambiguous we are about the things that determine our levels of personal fulfillment and happiness.
Of course there is nothing wrong with knowing how you like your pizza. However, this simply means that you could reach far greater levels of satisfaction in your life if you were aware of what you really wanted and how to get there.
Let’s revisit the example of pizza. The fundamentals of making pizza are the same. A similar process is involved in putting one together with standard ingredients: dough, sauce, toppings.
The same goes for success. A similar process is involved in reaching success because we have universal laws that govern our lives. Dedication, perseverance, and hard work are all needed to achieve success. Developing a plan and setting goals are a part of that process as well.
But the recipe for success can vary greatly from person to person, and the path to get there can be just as different. The road can be made up of completely different twists and turns. Some take less time, while others spend considerably more time reaching the final destination.
All of this is about personalizing success to your personal tastes and interests.
Is success a large home? Maybe it’s having close-knit supportive relationships. If you are active in your church or community, is that the mark of successful living for you? Is it when you reach a milestone in your career?
Let’s take our example of a pizza and do a simple exercise to put you in a successful frame of mind.
Draw a large circle on a piece of paper. Write a positive mantra in the center. Here are some examples:
“I choose success!”
“I am successful!”
“I am on track with my dreams and desires!”
To add your “toppings,” write the different areas of your life that make up your definition of success in the circle. These are the things that you want to achieve, or put another way, the areas of your life that are most important to you. Whatever is most important to you is generally where you want to accomplish even higher levels of satisfaction.
These could be things such as “live an integrity-based life” and/or “become an expert in my field.” This will help set you up to spell out the action steps under each goal. That way, the next time someone asks you how you define success, you will have a picture in your mind of what success is to you.
For help with creating a personal definition, and to study this topic more thoroughly, I recommend Tommy Newberry’s book “Success Is Not an Accident.” This workbook walks you through the process of developing a personal definition and plan that fits you.
He will guide you in creating a written definition. It could be something along the lines of this:
Success is an intentional approach to life and the result of living in a way that is on track with my goals and passions. For me, that means a life of purpose, being a loving spouse/parent, being of maximum service to my community, and achieving the highest level of certification in my profession.
Success is living a life that is true to who I am. It is the accomplishment of my ambitions to be a top educator and leader, and the realization of my dream to have a home and family. I believe written plans, dedication, and hard work are essential ingredients for success.
As you can see, the definitions can be different and completely personalized to you.
So what’s your recipe for success? Create your own definition and identify all that you want to reach in your life. This will give you the foundation to design action steps that will lead you there.
If you take the time to do that, you will have done far more than most people take the time to do.
Are you ready to experience more success in your life?
You have within you the power to create your own success. It begins with knowing what success means to you.
Follow your heart. Be you, and go after what is most important to you.
I believe you can get there!