What Does Success Look Like To You?

I have a straight to the point question for you today: What does success look like to you? If you had to visualize your ideal lifestyle, what would it entail? Many of us want “it” but do we know exactly what that “it” is that we’re striving for? Or are we hoping we can recognize “it” when “it” arrives?

Before we can start our journey to success, it’s essential that we have an idea of what the success we are striving for looks like. It’s, also, important to realize that my definition of success and “living well” may be totally different from yours – and that is okay! To one person living well may mean traveling around the world, and to another it may mean having more time to devote to an artistic pursuit.

What Does Success Look Like To You

So what does success look like to you? When you ask yourself what it means to “live well,” what is your answer? It can be a difficult concept to fully embrace because there are beliefs that have become part of who you are.

For example, you might have been brought up with the belief that success takes hard work – long days, short (if any) vacation and lots of sacrifice. I can truly relate to that. My parents and grandparents instilled in me a very strong work ethic – you go on your job, give 200% and you’ll be rewarded – with raises, promotions, and recognition.  They, for the most part, worked for vacations and, eventually, retirement. When you envision living well, it may conflict with that belief. I know it did for me. I had an “ah-ha” moment and realized that if I was going to give my prime years to an organization, then why not sow that hard work into something I was building for myself and for my family.

What Does Success Look Like To You

Examine Your Beliefs

To fully embrace what success looks like to you and to create your future, it’s important to examine your beliefs. Do you believe that living well means possessing luxury items like a new car and a large home, or do you believe that living well means being able to spend more time at home and less time at work? How do your beliefs support your vision and how do they hinder it?

As you examine your beliefs, ask yourself why you believe something to be true. You may discover that you’ve held onto a belief only because you never thought to question it.

Write It Down

Take some time to create a vision for your future. You might start by closing your eyes and imagining an ideal day where you spend your time pursuing your passions and living a simpler life. Once you have that idea in your head, it’s a good idea to write it down. As you document your vision for your future, it will start to take shape. You’ll have ideas about what you need to eliminate from your life and what steps you need to take to move forward.

Embrace What You Have

Often when we look to a new life and a new vision of success, it entails acquiring things. It’s important, before you take any steps to add more to your life, to assess what you already possess. Take a look at your personal belongings as well as your personal attributes. Chances are, you already have what you need to take significant steps toward a better future. You have the skills and knowledge. You have the enthusiasm. A life well lived often starts by appreciating what you already have.

Again, I ask:
What does success look like to you?

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  • Hmmm, guess my comment didn’t show up.. let’s try again. So true in that success doesn’t look the same to everyone and we need to find out what that success is. I have my own biz and that’s pretty successful… but getting better at it and being good to myself will be majorly successful! 😉

  • Like others have said, my idea of success has definitely changed through the years. When I was in my 20s it meant getting promotions and making more money. In my 30s and 40s I still worked but had to balance it with my family so that was a key to my success and now in my 50s after transitioning to a new work life and becoming an official empty nester I think success is going to mean something totally different. Right now I strive for feeling comfortable on a day to day basis.

  • For me, success looks like working WHEN I want, WHERE I want, driving my own income and enjoying what I do. Taking my business with me wherever I go 🙂

  • Great post! And it’s important to ask this question regularly, since priorities and values are changing…

  • Love be this Michelle!!! I know success for me has definitely changed the way it looks as I got older and had kids. I’m going to have to start writing these questions down and take a long hard look at what I think success is for me b

  • I love it. I think it is very important to ask this questions regularly as our definition will change as our life changes.

  • The definition of success definitely changes throughout your life. When you realize you have to sit down and figure out what is it for you, and not what everybody else, it’s a very liberating feeling.
    Thanks for the great questions, food for thought for sure!

  • So funny you should be asking this question. One of my coaching clients was struggling with the same question and I asked her to (as you suggest) write them down. She came up with 2 lists — one with old definitions of success and one with today’s definitions. Amazing how they changed from outer-directed — what she did, how she was perceived; to inner-directed — how she felt, what she wanted and more. Brilliantly done!

  • I was able to clearly define my definition of success by identifying my life mission statement…once I wrote things down it caused me to be accountable!

  • geiseman

    I think once we picture what success looks like for us and embrace it we can achieve it. Great reminder that success looks differently for everyone and we have to be mindful of that.

  • Yes, success is a very individual thing. Defining it for yourself is a great way to start achieving just what you want.

  • A great post. Success for me is to have freedom to decide when and where I want to work, which my translation business allows me. And to have time for my other passions.

  • For me – success is spending time with family, doing what I love and getting paid to do it, the ability to help others while doing what I love. I’m almost there. 🙂

  • carundle

    My idea of success has changed over time. I used to think I wanted all the free time in the world to do whatever I wanted at any time without concerns for money. But now I realize that doing my work is success. My passion and my dream are so big that getting to do them everyday means success tome.

  • I love to start my day with writing down what my ideal life looks like. It’s great way to start the day off on a positive note and keep you connected to your dreams, which in turns help you to create what you want.

  • For each of us success morphs and changes as we move through the stages of our lives. What I would have called successful in my 20’s or 30’s is very different than what it looks like me today. It is a really important question to continue asking ourselves though, as sometimes the answer may surprise even us. Thanks for the prompt to ask the question!

  • These are really fundamental points to begin a personal brand. Good stuff.

  • Great post, Michelle!

    You are so right on with success being a personal choice — we all have different personalities, styles, families, circumstances and dreams/goals — it only makes sense to customize our definition of success to take all of that into account.

    One of my early mentors got me into the habit of WRITING THINGS DOWN — my goals, my accomplishments, my progress, etc. It’s been a true game-changer.

  • In figuring out what you want to achieve you also have to figure out what kind of lifestyle you are looking to have along with your monetary, level of success goals. It is definitely nice to have more time with family while having a thriving business at the same time.Once you realize what you want a plan is a great thing so you don’t go into this totally lost and will make it easier with finding a place to start.