How to define success
Updated: Jul 2, 2021
Success. Something we apparently all seem to be chasing but which we have little understanding of how to truly measure. Is it by the numbers on our bank balance? The size of house we live in or type of car we drive? That state of our relationships? Occupation title? Number of social media followers? At one time or another I thought that some of these things defined ‘success’. That they defined me. I was wrong.
Having my eyes opened
My eyes were opened to what success truly meant when I attended a Women's Business Exhibition last year. An event I contemplated missing altogether several times. I am not a ‘girly girl’ and often find female-only environments very intimidating (thank you past experiences). However, I put my big girl pants on and thought of the bigger picture: I am a woman, I am kind and I know others out there are too. What I hadn’t banked on was the huge light-bulb moment I would come away with, we are talking bring-the-national-grid-down big!
How does this link to success I hear you ask? I’m coming to that.
As with any ‘expo’ there were keynote speakers. The second speech I sat down to hear was from Caprice Bourret. This was someone I had seen rise to fame as I grew up, but I also wanted to hear how she had built a successful business away from what she became famous for. What I came away with was so much more.
As well as sharing the answers to her most frequently asked business questions, what struck me most about Caprice was her answer to how she defined success. There was no pause, no ‘depending on’s’ or ‘maybes’, only this simple answer. Family.
At that moment I had the biggest wake-up call ever for something that was staring me right in the face. I used to believe that success meant earning a certain amount of money, living in a certain type of house and area. Being ‘seen’ in a certain way by others. The thing is, that wasn’t actually my belief, but one I had been told and conditioned to believe by the world around me. And I had let it happen.
What I realised as Caprice answered this question was that this was exactly what success meant to me too. It was my family.
It was creating the family I dream of. Making sure they are healthy and know they are loved. Ensuring they are safe.
Every decision I make, every action I take, its all guided by whether it will help create the family I desire and benefit them as they are now. Will saying yes to one opportunity mean that I miss others with them? If I do this thing, if I make this choice, does it take me closer to the family picture I have?
What does success mean to you?
So here is a question for you: What is success? More importantly, what is success to you? Forget what others are whispering in your ear, ten years from now, what will be important to you and make you feel happy and fulfilled?
It’s taken 35 years for me to realise what success looks like to me. Now, I feel I can achieve anything, because as long as my family remain my light in the dark, I know I’ll steer clear of the rocks. I no longer have to live according to someone else's story. I choose the words, I choose the journey, and I definitely decide the ending.
Whatever success looks like for you. Own it. Be proud of it. Stand by it.
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