How do you define…success?

How do you define…success?

Your definition of success is key to your experience of happiness. 

Why do I say that? 

Because I know if from my experience with literally thousands of clients over many years AND…from my very own personal experience. 

So many clients with whom I've worked have defined success in ways that are, to put it quite simply, unhelpful. And I say "unhelpful" because these definitions have, in one way or other, contributed to unhappiness or frustration or disappointment or misery or…all of the above. 

You see so many people define success in terms of…

  • financial achievements (wealth)

  • status (e.g. job position or career progression)

  • fame

  • awards won

  • number of friends

  • number of sexual encounters

  • physical appearance (e.g. being "thin" and/or "beautiful") 

  • number of qualifications or degrees or courses completed

  • etcetera…I think you get the idea

Now there's nothing inherently wrong with some of these…wealth, for example, is not a bad thing in and of itself; nor are academic qualifications of professional achievements. But where these go wrong is when we focus exclusively on one life domain, to the exclusion of other areas of life and/or where these aspirations are unrealistic and/or uhhealthy. 

For example, so many people I meet and/or work with (especially, it should be said, men!) define success almost exclusively in terms of dollars in the bank or job status or brand of car driven or home street address! Now again, there's nothing really wrong with any of this except that if wealth creation is important to you, and if it is then that's perfectly OK, it should only be ONE aspect of success and not the whole thing! 

Because life is so much more than just a bank account; and life should not JUST be about getting rich but rather, living a rich life…a life with rich and interesting and varied and challenging and stimulating and memorable experiences. 

And to live a "rich" and "good" life then one also needs to live a relatively healthy life. Now this doesn't mean we all need to become marathon running vegans (not that there's anything wrong with marathon running vegans) but it does mean we should take at least some care of our physical wellbeing. And if we spend too much time in the office or at our desks then by definition, we're not always doing the best for our health. 

Similarly, few people will, on their death beds, wish they'd achieved more fame or climbed the corporate ladder one more rung; many, however, will wish they'd loved their family more or kept in touch with friends more or had more fun and enjoyed more happiness. 

So, why am I writing all this? 

I'm writing to help you find more happiness and I believe you can enjoy more happiness by ensuring that your definition of success is a healthy and broad one. Sure, make money if you want and sure, complete degrees and achieve professionally if you want. That's all great! But make sure you also give some consideration and time to…your family and friends and health and wellbeing and to "life" in all it's varied and wonderful forms. 

Spending some time reading or kicking a ball with your kids should be considered just as important as, if not more important than getting a raise or a promotion. Going out for a romantic dinner with your parther should be "worth" just as much as, if not more than, completing another goal. 

I honestly believe that we could all enjoy markedly more happiness if we knew what happiness and success really is and if we continually reminded ourselves of what's…REALLY important in life. 

What do you think? Let me know HERE on The Happiness Institute's Facebook Page. Thanks in advance : )