Everyone wants to succeed. We aspire to success and success-like feelings. In actuality, we pursue wealth, notoriety, power, education, relationships, and a thousand other things without ever pausing to consider what success really means to us. 

Few individuals stop to think about what success in their own life really entails. According to Jim Rohn, if you don’t create your own life plan, you can end up adhering to someone else’s. And do you know what they have in store for you? not very much.

We risk climbing the wrong ladder and pursuing someone else’s definition of success if we don’t have an answer to this question. When we reach the summit, we realize we chose the incorrect mountain to climb. We accomplish our objectives just to find out they weren’t the right ones. Few people are able to recover from this catastrophe. 

One day you’re sitting in your cubicle and realize, ever since you started working, every single day of your life has been worse than the day before it,” Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston) tells his doctor in the movie Office Space. The worst day of my life is therefore the worst day on which you see me every single day.

How can we prevent a similar outcome? 

The most successful people are those who have a very clear understanding of what it means to be successful in their own eyes. We must reach the same clarity if we’re going to follow in their footsteps.

1. What success is not.


Understanding what success isn’t is necessary before we can pursue it. Spending just a few minutes on social media will show you how many individuals have a very limited idea of what success is. Many believe it’s about accumulating wealth, finding the ideal partner, starting a billion-dollar company, or gaining a sizable social media following. 

None of these things or people are incorrect, but success doesn’t necessarily come from trying to be like them. Many people have pushed and fought their way to the top only to feel unhappy and exhausted once they get there. Because they chased a concept of success that didn’t align with their ideals, they are miserable.

We pick up different definitions of success from our parents, instructors, and friends as we grow into young adults. Each has a personal agenda and view of the ideal self. It’s acceptable to respect other people’s beliefs and aspirations, but we shouldn’t always embrace them as our own. Nobody has the right to impose their idea of success on us. Nobody can define what a good life is for us. 

It’s simple to assume that success entails acquiring a certain item, like a job or social standing, and to think that if we do, we’ll be successful. The worst failures, however, can sometimes lead to the greatest successes if you make an effort to learn from them.

Like Abraham Lincoln, who was a U.S. president before… 

For the state legislature, he lost. 

…failed to win the speaker of the house election. 

…was unsuccessful in getting nominated for Congress. 

…was unsuccessful in a bid for the U.S. Senate (twice). 

If we base our notion of success just on one or two accomplishments, we run the risk of being let down.

2. How do you define success for you.


Our goals, ambitions, and trajectories must be determined based on our own desires, not those of others. 

Some people discover that assisting others makes them the happiest, and success to them resembles a life given to others. Others understand that creating a company or a product makes them happy. While some people love constant activity, others prefer solitude. 

What makes me happy doesn’t make someone else happy, and vice versa. This is a simple but deep truth. I doubt that my idea of success resembles yours, and that’s exactly how it should be.

We will experience frustration, unhappiness, and ultimately a profound sense of failure if we don’t define success for ourselves and instead try to follow someone else’s path. Always be yourself, express yourself, and have faith in yourself, according to Bruce Lee. Avoid seeking out successful people and trying to imitate them. 

The first step on the road to success is to ask yourself, “What brings me joy?”

3. Recognize your current successes. 


It’s also crucial to realize that we are already successful in a lot of ways. We will never be content if we think of ourselves as failures until we accomplish a particular objective. We must acknowledge everything we have already accomplished. 

Think about it: 

Where in my life have I already experienced success? 

“How can I build on that accomplishment going forward?” 

What can I take away from those successes? 

“What have their successes taught me about myself?”

Success is both a destination and a process. Success includes achieving milestones, but we don’t stop there. In an effort to achieve more and improve, we raise the bar and work harder.

4. Figure out what success means to you. 


“The road to success is to take tremendous, deliberate action,” Tony Robbins said. However, how do we choose our way? What actions do we take to actually succeed? 

We must be able to succinctly respond to the following questions with laser beam focus: 

What is most important to me? 

What causes me to feel so passionately fired up? 

“What do I want my life to be?” 

What kind of lifestyle am I aiming for? 

“Who am I trying to become?” 

“After I’m gone, what do I want people to say about me?”

These questions require extremely specific responses. Saying “What genuinely matters to me is happiness” is insufficient. You won’t truly understand what it means, what you’re doing, or where you’re heading if you can’t see clearly. Likewise is true for your vision of success.

Yet, you must first evaluate where you are in order to start going forward. Honest assessment is needed now; rose-colored glasses are not appropriate. Where are you succeeding right now? Where are you lacking in growth? What are your areas of strength and weakness? Bring in a friend or coworker to serve as a trustworthy sounding board.

5. Specify your objectives and meet them. 


The next step is to decide on some precise objectives. These objectives must be hard but also attainable. Your objectives must be quantifiable as well. Say you want to read more to succeed; don’t just say “read more,” but set a goal of 50 books annually. 

Success will be defined for you if you don’t define it yourself. What peak are you ascending? Is it the proper choice? Or will you reach the top and be able to view your mountain from away? 

Get out on the proper path right now.