Attitude – I asked the audience at a recent business meeting how many of them had created a clear, written definition of success for their business or career. Less than 25% of them raised their hand. When I probed a bit further with a few of them, what I found was that they tended to be using the stereotypical definitions of success, such as lots of money or a big house, usually posited by other so-called successful people.

Of course, borrowing a definition from someone else until you figure out your own is fine. In fact, I recommend you borrow mine until you have taken some time to work one out for yourself.

However, holding on to someone else’s determination of success without truly seeing if and how it fits in with your integrity is likely to create all sorts of square pegs in round holes for you.

You see, your personal definition of success will anchor your actions and give you a point of reference. Not having a point of reference that comes from within you may be behind some of the overwhelm and overload you feel.

So, here’s my definition –

I feel successful when I have more want-to’s in my day than have-to’s.

You’ll notice a couple of important things about that definition.

First, I talk of success as a feeling, not a possession. Thoughts and feelings drive our behaviour, and they need to form the basis of our performance goals, which ultimately creates our success.

Second, I mention nothing about money, relationships, position or status. When my days are filled with want to’s, I know I’ve made choices based on my personal and professional integrity about who I spend time with and how. I make those choices fully accepting responsibility for what happens and then my days naturally fill with want-to’s.

And guess what? Those days usually lead to the more common definitions of success about money, people and position.

Action – If you don’t have a written definition of what success feels like to you, start with mine. Then, over the next few days, ask yourself how you really want to feel as that successful person. Then also ask yourself to what extent you already are successful (because you are) and how you feel about that.

As you understand what success feels like for you, you make it more possible to achieve.

Further reading:
On performance goals – here and here
​​​​​​​On success – here
Another definition of success – here