‘Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.’ – Anne Sweeney, Walt Disney
Success. You might be feeling like success isn’t happening for you at present however let me explore how to think about success differently during this time.
I know, this is a big one.
Quick, do me a favour. Take eight seconds to read the above quote again.
Let it sink in.
Now, do I really need to even write anything more for this article? Ha! It sure encapsulates everything well, doesn’t it?
Ultimately, I think the most amazing, most wondrous thing about success is this: We all have a different definition of the word.
What does success mean to you?
To some people (and maybe this includes you), success means dominating the corporate world. Or maybe it’s becoming filthy rich by age forty. Or maybe your definition of success is that you’ve raised really wonderful children.
Or maybe, just maybe, your definition of success can be anything you want it to be as long as you’re ultimately happy and content with your life.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. My definition of success means significantly impacting others’ lives and making a difference.
To me, significance to others refers to the positive changes you make to someone’s life as a result of your influence on them. If you’ve made a significant difference in someone’s life, no amount of money can beat that.
I truly do believe it.
I love this story. I remember coaching this incredible executive for a number of months. She was the head of human resources for a government agency with a large team. She was working really hard in the coaching and then out of the blue; she was made redundant. She couldn’t believe it and either could I. She was shocked, scared and devastated. She contacted me immediately.
I told her to take a deep breath. Just to keep breathing and that everything would be okay. She had to move through and accept the emotions. She was also a single mum so losing her job was incredibly heartbreaking for her. Her company were no longer paying for her coaching program and that didn’t matter to me. After a few weeks and months of focus, positive mindset, connecting her with our networks and shaping up her personal branding; she got a great new job! I was so thrilled for her. To me; that was one of my greatest experiences of success.
This is my definition of success; helping someone else shine and stand tall; to make a difference to others. It is my purpose and I set goals around this each and every day.
Okay. Since we all have different definitions of success, and we’ve established that being happy and content with your life contributes to your success, why not take it one step further and say that it’s the pursuit of your own planned goals and desires that propels you toward success?
Yes! I love it. (In writing this, I’m wiggling all over in my chair because the proverbial light bulb just went off over my head.)
I’ve read a lot about successful people (we’re talking dozens of books here) and one characteristic that drives these people’s success (whether they’re successful in politics, business, sports, arts, science, athletics, etc.) is that they’re insanely goal-driven. I believe goals are fundamental to success.
In fact, Tom Corley, the author of Change Your Habits, Change Your Life, says that of the 233 successful individuals he surveyed for his book, eighty percent of them obsessively pursued both long- and short-term goals.
Quick lane change: Did you know that your imagination is one of the most powerful tools you can use to achieve your goals? Yes, the connection between neuroscience and imagination is undeniable. Your imagination causes your brain to fire up in ways that actually create new neural pathways in your brain. For example, if you imagine yourself winning a race, or saving a certain amount of money—your imagination actually propels you toward success!
Isn’t that amazing?
There’s one more item I’d like to mention that’s invariably connected to success: Your values.
Core to your personal success is your value set. Your values will give you a strong indication of what is important to you and what success means to you.
So, what are your values? What’s important to you?
Here’s the catch, though: Don’t confuse goals for values. Think of your values as a foundation, and your goals as the house built on the foundation.
For example, if you want to save money for a charity, that’s a goal, but what’s the value?
You got it. Making a difference is the value.
If you combine your values with the relentless pursuit of your goals (with a little imagination thrown in), you’re seriously going to be unstoppable!
If you would to know more about how to set yourself up for success, I would love you to read my book Just Rock It!.
List your most important values here:
Okay, let’s fire up that brain one more time. Success is within your grasp!
What does success mean to you? Write it down!