How Do You Define Success?

With New Year being so recent in our minds, you’ll find lots of articles cropping up around the web that deal with success in all its forms. Come the end of any year, most of us aim to improve the next one by setting ourselves a series of goals and pledges that we call ‘resolutions’ and these are normally focussed on improving ourselves so that we can get more out of the next year and end it with a sense of accomplishment.

Reading around these articles though, it’s clear to see that different people consider success to be very different things. Is being successful a matter of making more money? Is it being in better shape? Is it finding a girlfriend? Or is it just being happy? How can you achieve true success when no one really seems to know what it is?

So What Is Success?

Well the reason for this problem is simple – there is no easy definition of success because success is not an abstract noun. The word success is not a ‘thing’ that you either have or have not, but rather it’s a subjective state of mind that depends on your perception. You might fail your exam, but if you get a higher score than the score you thought you’d achieve then you could still consider it a success. And if you want to lower the threshold for success then most of us will find we experience lots of ‘little’ successes everyday as we successfully spread our bread in the morning, and as we successfully don’t trip over on the way down the stairs.

The confusion around success is that it’s not a concrete point on the spectrum, and nor is it even confined to a specific spectrum or category. Instead, you define success yourself every time you do something. Success is essentially achieving or surpassing your goals and expectations. If you expect to get 50% and you get 60% then that’s a success. If you set out to be happier and you can honestly say you’ve accomplished that, then that’s a success. If you want to get a girlfriend or boyfriend and you find yourself one… success!

How to Be Successful

Being successful then really is a state of mind, and it depends entirely on your state of mind. This is why it’s so important to set concrete goals that you can reach for – without those goals you won’t be able to succeed in those areas. Likewise, if you feel like a failure then it may just be that the goals you’re setting yourself are unfairly harsh. Set some smaller goals that are attainable and move through them one step at a time and that way your life will become filled with lots of smaller successes.

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