Ask Yourself: What Does Success Look Like?

by Alex Lim
what does success look like

Who doesn’t want to be successful? Who doesn’t want to make a living from doing what they love?

Well, the brief answer is, everyone wants success. Some can achieve it. But most people do not because they don’t take the time to define what success looks like.

Success is different for everyone. What one person thinks is a success may be something completely different to another person.

The Definition of Success

So, how do you define success?

There are several meanings we can come up with on our own of what we think it means to succeed. But, at the end of the day, one stands out as the same for everyone; success is accomplishing your goals.

It is doing what you set out to do, even though it may take you there completely differently. You may think you’re successful when you achieve something, but it doesn’t matter how you got to that point. The fact remains that you achieved your goal, and you are successful because of that.

The Psychology of Success

Carol Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford University, says that there is a difference between successful people’s mindsets and those who are not. Experts, such as Dweck, call these fixed and growth mindsets. People with fixed mindsets believe their intelligence and abilities determine their success. They feel that if they have a certain level of intelligence, they will succeed in whatever they do.

People with growth mindsets, however, believe they can develop and improve their intelligence. They think that if they have the right attitude, meaning being motivated to learn and try new things, it doesn’t matter what their natural abilities are because they can still be successful.

The two mindsets also affect how people react when they fail.

People with fixed mindsets get discouraged when failure happens because it makes them feel like less of a person for not succeeding or not doing something right. People with growth mindsets figure out what went wrong and how to fix it so that failure doesn’t happen again.

Dweck says we all have a fixed mindset about something. Hence, if you want to be more successful in life, you need to change that mindset into a growth mindset. We dive deep into this discussion in this post, so check it out!

If you want to dive deeper into the psychology of successful leaders, it may interest you to read about how billionaires think.

Defining Success

While the definition of success differs for every single individual, we live in a materialistic world. Therefore, people measure success by physical assets and its monetary value. People don’t look at a person and say they’re successful just because they’re smiling and laughing all day every day, and everyone who meets them says they’re happy or full of life.

To desire materialistic things is not bad at all. Understand, though, being a worldly person doesn’t always make you successful in life.

It isn’t easy to define what success looks like by what we have or what we do for a living. That’s too broad of a definition for most people to achieve without having help from someone else – money or resources. These days, society views success much differently. It’s defined on a much more personal level.

What Does Success Look Like or Mean to You?

With perception and how to define success, the responses you get to this question may surprise you get. Success is a moving target that changes depending on who you ask.

For some, it means being able to travel wherever they want or having the newest and coolest gadgets. For others, success means the ability to work from home and set their own schedule. Still, for others, it’s being able to take care of their family or send their kids to college. And for others, it’s the ability to retire comfortably at a young age.

For many people, “success” is all about money—the more they have, the more successful they perceive themselves as being. But there are a great number of people who will tell you money can’t buy happiness.

But here’s a little secret: It doesn’t really matter what other people think about success; what matters is your idea of success!

You should never let someone else tell you what success means for you! The only thing that matters is that you are happy with whatever definition of success you choose for yourself. And you are willing to take steps each day to make it happen!

How Do You Describe Success?

Start by asking yourself how you would describe success. Then, try to think of at least three more different ways from the one you initially thought.

Here are some tips to help you along the way to define your success:

First, list as many goals as you can think of that you want to accomplish in your life. List these as if they are already true, so they become more accurate. For example, instead of saying “I want a new car,” say “I have a brand new BMW” or “I have a brand new Ferrari” or whatever car it is you most desire now. Be sure to include the details such as color and model.

If you have kids, include their names, ages, and what they look like. Include all the details for your dream job and where you want to work. Include your relationships with friends and family. Make it as detailed as possible when writing your goals. Using positive affirmations can send powerful ripple effects into the world around you.

Next, list out the actions you need to take to achieve each of these goals. For example, if you want a new car, you may need to save up the money to buy it or sell your current vehicle. You might need to work more hours or move to a different location to get a better-paying job.

The point is to understand what you want and take the actions necessary to achieve what you want in life.

Success By Being Financially Stable

While money isn’t everything, being financially stable can be how you measure success personally. This will depend on your income and savings. There are some minor changes that you can make to increase your income. For example, by negotiating a raise at work. You can also change how you spend money.

Be on top of your finances and where all your money is going. This will help you cut back on unnecessary expenses to save more and have a better financial future. It would also help if you think about making investments, so your returns go further than expected.

If you worry about your short-term financial future, you can take out a loan or use a credit card to cover any costs. Whatever you do, make sure you are not going into unnecessary debt and are not living beyond your means.

Success By Being Healthy

It will also be easier for you to achieve success if you are healthy. This means that you should eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Make sure you work out at the same time every day to form a habit that becomes a positive part of your life. It is also essential for you to sleep well at night so that your immune system is strong and healthy.

You should take the time in your day to exercise, for example, after work or on your lunch break. You can also find a way of exercising that is not too strenuous or time-consuming, so you can do it all the time.

As long as there are no major health problems, then having a healthy body will help you feel accomplished in all areas of your life. It will also make you feel better about yourself and improve your self-esteem.

Success By Being Free

The more freedom you get, the more successful you will be. If you are not free to do what you want, it will be difficult for you to succeed. It would help if you had the freedom to enjoy your work and dedicate yourself to achieving your goals.

If you feel you are being forced into doing something, it will not be possible for you to succeed. You cannot feel successful if someone else tells you when and how to work. The only way you will achieve success is if you do this for yourself.

To increase your freedom, first identify the limiting factors that are holding it back. For example, if there are people who drain your energy, they can reduce your ability to succeed. If there is an area of life that makes it difficult for you to move forward, then identify and remove these obstacles from your life.

Having Good Relationships

You are also unlikely to be successful if there are problems in your marriage or your surrounding relationships (and I don’t mean your popularity in social media!). The success you have will depend on how happy and stable your relationships are. For many, success looks like having your loved ones around when you need them and making sure you are there for them when they need you.

To improve any relationship, you need to express how you feel and work out a solution to any problem. You also need to forgive each other for making mistakes and for doing things that are upsetting.

It would be best if you also take the time out of your day to spend quality time with your family. It will not be possible for you to succeed if you are too busy thinking about work.

Success By Being Smart

You are also going to be a lot more successful if you are smart. You will only be able to achieve success if you have the intelligence and knowledge needed for it. The best way for you to accomplish this is to improve your education and develop yourself.

Education is vital because it increases your knowledge and helps you understand what it takes to be successful. It will also allow you to overcome any difficulties that come up when trying to move forward. It would be best if you used these opportunities to succeed in life, so try not to waste them when they come up.

You can also learn some new skills by taking up a hobby or learning an instrument. This will help you develop new abilities and strengths, which can help you become more successful.

Success and Happiness

Finally, it is going to be easier for you to be successful if you are positive. A positive attitude will help you deal with any problems that come up and make it possible to achieve your goals. You must be clear on what success looks like for you to keep moving towards it.

Whenever something negative happens, stop and think about how you can work through it and overcome the problem. Think about what went wrong and why it happened so you can do something about it in the future. By looking at the problem from different angles, it will be possible for you to make sure that it does not happen again.

A Final Thought

Success is in the beholder’s eye. It is up to you to decide what your success should look like.

While there are many opinions and examples of what success looks like, the only avenue to achieving this is by you starting with your end goal in mind. Once you have that, it’s a matter of working your way through them, one step at a time.

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