“Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.” – Robert Kiyosaki
What is your definition of success? Do you measure it by happiness, wealth, achievement, health, or family?
Each person has a different answer, depending on where they are in life, and what they want. Starting my first business was my first success, then making millions of dollars, and now it’s to impact others and help them grow and succeed.
One of the best definitions I’ve heard when it comes to success is by Earl Nightingale who said
Success is really nothing more than the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. This means that any person who knows what they are doing and where they are going is a success. Any person with a goal towards which they are working is a successful person.
Success can be defined in so many ways. I want to share with you some definitions of success from different areas of life, including work, health, and personal achievement.
Watch this video about defining success.
Success Is About Having A Plan
When it comes to success, some people think making a certain amount of money is an indicator. If they make half a million dollars then they are successful. Or they define it as hitting a certain milestone. Buying their dreamhouse. Landing their dream job.
I look at success differently. My definition of success is having a predetermined plan and executing it successfully over a long period of time.
And most importantly, having fun doing it. It’s that simple.
Let’s say you want to lose weight. You are 200 pounds and your target is 180 pounds. So you set a predetermined plan to go to the gym, work out, and go on a diet. Over six months to two years later, you’re gradually losing weight until you reach 180 pounds.
And you had a blast doing it. You enjoyed going to the gym, changing your food choices, and getting praise from friends and family. You’re proud of your new look. It took time to execute that plan successfully, but you had fun, and in my book, that’s a success.
Here’s another example. You’re a single parent raising a child, nurturing her through school and teaching her life principles. Years later, she becomes an inspiration to her classmates. Being a single parent to a child is a success.
Success Isn’t About Money
It has absolutely nothing to do with money. Buying a car, a house or going on a vacation or even making millions of dollars is not success.
I’ll give you perfect example. A very good friend of mine owns a lot of different franchises in Canada. He’s very wealthy, and has a collection of cars and other toys. But the problem is, he’s been divorced three times. The kids don’t want to talk to him and he’s borderline alcoholic.
Every time I see him, he is stressed out. All he talks about is opening up the next franchise location and making X amount of dollars. And at the end of the day, he goes home to an empty house.
Is he a success? In my book, that’s not success at all. I think that’s a failure. A very big failure.
So I think money doesn’t make you successful. Money just a way you measure by how much value you deliver to the marketplace.
How Americans View Success
Here’s a snapshot of how Americans view success. The American Dream, a phrase someone coined to refer to equal opportunity to reach aspirations, isn’t the same for everyone. This survey of 2000 people paints a picture of definitions of success using goals that can be quantified.
- Many Americans view success as having a six figure income, but most were only halfway to their goal.
- Most Americans weren’t working their dream job, but they were close to working their ideal hours. However, they were only getting half their ideal vacation time, and commuting (on average) twice as far as they would like to work.
- For property, Americans ideally want to own a house worth more than $460,000 and a car worth more than $41,000. But the reality is, the average home value is $248,000 and vehicle value at $15,000+.
- Americans define success with family and friends as being married with kids and having about four best friends. Most actually have 3 best friends, and only 61% are married.
- Women define success by wealth and men define success by freedom. Women are more likely to say more income would get them closer to their goal. Men are more likely to say a dream job would get them to their goal.
Of course, success isn’t something we can always put numbers on. For the purpose of this survey, quantifiable items were easier to measure. You can say happiness is a form of success but it’s harder to measure.
Final Thoughts On Defining Success
People, especially young people, define making a defined amount of money as success, but it has nothing to do with that. Success is having a predetermined plan that you can execute over a long period of time.
It means having a long term vision and then having a lot of fun doing the plan. That’s my definition of success. It’s not a destination. It is the quality of your journey.
Americans define “making it” in life – what they consider to be ideal milestones. Most of them are only halfway to where they want to be.
Before we go, I want to leave you with one quote by Jim Rohn, which I love. “Success is not something that you pursue, success is something that you attract by the person that you become.”
What is “success” to you? Comment below.