How do you define success?

The surge of pride when you hang your award on your wall? The warmth in your heart when you step through the door of your first home? Or is it the satisfaction you get when you look at your bank statement and all your bills are paid?

What is success to you?

One of the best definitions I’ve heard about success is by radio speaker and author Earl Nightingale: Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.

When it comes to success, some people think that when they make a certain amount of money, then they are successful. When they make a million dollars, when they buy their dreamhouse, or when they land their dream job, then they are successful.

Over the years, the way I view success has changed. At first, when I was young, I thought getting my first job was success. Back then, it had seemed like such a huge hurdle to have someone believe I would be a good employee and hire me. Then the next big challenge was getting into college. There was so much competition, yet I managed to get in.

Being able to buy my mom a nice birthday gift was success. We didn’t have much money back then, so finding enough money to set aside was not easy.

Then when I got older, starting my own business was success. And then reaching my first million was success. At each stage of my life, I defined success differently.

So the question is, how can you define success so you can increase your chances of achieving it?

Watch my video about success and how I define it.

Success Is Having A Predetermined Plan

I think success is about having a predetermined plan and executing it over a long period of time while having fun doing it. It’s that simple.

Let’s say you want to lose weight. You are 200 pounds now and you want to get to 180 pounds. You’ve made a plan to go to the gym everyday after work and you’re going to go on a diet. The first week, you’re going to work out for a half hour each time. You’ll cut fried food out of your diet. The next week, you plan to do more cardio. By working on the plan step by step, you are executing that plan successfully over a period of time.

It could be six months, a year, or two years. You’re losing that 200 pounds and dropping to 190, then 180 and having a blast doing it. Your friends are telling you how great you look and you can finally keep up with them when they go for hikes on the weekends. In my book, that’s success.

Maybe you’re a single parent. You have a predetermined plan for raising that child. You want the best food, the best environment, and the best teachers for your child. Eventually your kid goes to school and you’re teaching him or her the principles of life. He or she shows you awards from school and you’re always seeing your child helping out others. You feel so proud. That’s an example of success that has nothing to do with money.

What Success Isn’t

However, just because you can buy a house, make millions, or afford a month-long trip to another country doesn’t mean you’ve achieved success.

A good friend of mine owns a lot of franchises in Canada. He’s very wealthy and has a lot of cars and toys.

But he’s been divorced three times. His kids don’t want to talk to him. He’s borderline alcoholic, stressed out, and work focused. His career is all he has. All he talks about is opening up the next franchise location and making X amount of dollars.

At the end of each day, he returns to an empty house. No kids. No wife.

Is he a success? In my book, I don’t think so. He’s a failure. A very big failure. He’s extremely unhappy. So having money doesn’t make you successful.

How Successful People Define Success

Money is just a measure for how much value you deliver to the marketplace. Young people think I make X amount of dollars so I’m successful but it has nothing to do with that.

Success is having a predetermined plan. The keyword is plan. Executing that plan successfully over a long period of time means having a long term vision, and then having a lot of fun doing it. That’s my definition of success.

It has nothing to do with money.

I’m at a stage in my life where I want to have significance. I don’t have to worry about money or being able to provide for my family. At this stage, I want to do more for my family and for my mentees around the world. I’ve made plans and over time, I’m executing that plan to provide mentorship and global education to millions of people.

When a random person on the street comes up to me and thanks me for the value I have given to his or her life, to me, I’ve achieved success.

How do you define success?

Here are some definitions from high-achievers:

  • “Success is not to be pursued; it is to be attracted by the person you become.” – Jim Rohn
  • “The more you’re actively and practically engaged, the more successful you will feel.” – Richard Branson
  • “To me, the definition of success is waking up in the morning with a smile on your face, knowing it’s going to be a great day.” – Mark Cuban

Success is not a destination you ever reach. It’s the quality of your journey.

What’s your definition of success? Comment below.

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