What is success?
You may not realize it, but we all define success differently. For some, success means retiring on a private beach. For others, success is a comfortable home and a growing family. No matter how you define it, it’s important to have a clear idea of what success means to you. Without a definition, you’ll find yourself drifting without a purpose. With the wrong definition, you’ll loose yourself in the pursuit of things that will never satisfy you. Find the right definition now as that definition will affect every decision you make.
How to make the right definition.
Focus on the ends rather than the means. Do you want stability, accomplishment, time, relationships, family, adventure, or something else? There are a variety of ways to achieve each of these things. Focusing on the means will cripple your ability to think creatively. Instead, focus on your true goals and decide what you really want, not what the world tells you to want.
Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself to get started. They’re phrased as dichotomies, but you’ll want to find a balance that’s right for you.
Now vs. later
Would you rather spend now or save for later? Would you rather go on vacations throughout your life or use compounding interest to make your retirement date as early as possible?
Income vs. passion
Is it better to maximize your earning potential or enjoy what you do?
Income vs. experience
Would you rather find the job with the highest pay or the one at which you can grow your skill set?
Hard work vs. more work
Would you sacrifice the present for a better future? Do you want work hard to climb the corporate ladder or build a new business? Or would you rather just take an easy job for less stress and more time at home?
Risky vs. stable
Are you able to handle risk well? Do you get stressed when there isn’t a plan or find excitement in the unpredictable? Is the uncertainty worth whatever rewards may or may not come?
Personal achievement vs. financial success
Is pride more important than pay? Do you want a job with a humanitarian mission or do you find creating value for the world while maintaining profitability to be a nobler goal?
Public fame vs. personal pride
Do you want external recognition? Do you want a job others will admire or is your own personal satisfaction a better reward?
Work for yourself vs. work for someone else
Do you have to be the boss or do you benefit from someone else’s direction?
Team vs. lone wolf
Do you like working as a team or do you get more done alone? Do you trust others to do their work or would you rather do it yourself?
Family vs. independence
Would you rather have a family or maintain your independence? Do you want strong relationships that take time or the ability to do as you please?
Be rich vs. live like it
Would you rather live like you’re rich or be rich? Is the freedom to do most anything you want sufficient or is the the validation and status your true goal?
Build your vision
Answer those questions and you’ll start building a picture in your head of what you really want. Now you need to choose the best avenue to achieve it. Should you start a business, freelance, find another job, or stay where you’re at? Should you focus on saving to transition to a new career or can you afford to live without an income if you move elsewhere?
Let me know what you decide. Leave a comment and tell me what you’re doing, what you learned from this, or any other methods you use to find your definition of success.