stairway

Success is…

How do you finish this statement?

“Success is…”

Did you finish the statement with an accomplishment or a goal that you’ve already attained? Like “happiness,” “being an Executive,” “owning a home,” “having a family,” “having $x dollars in the bank.”

Or did you finish it with a dream or aspiration that you’ve not yet achieved? Maybe “becoming a partner,” “starting my own business,” “becoming my own boss,” “seeing my children graduate from college,” “retiring wealthy,” “having more free time.”

It’s important to stop for a moment and focus, not on “what” you filled that statement with, but more so on whether it is still a sought after dream or a goal that you’ve already achieved in life.

Why?

Because … ok … let’s dive into this a little bit more here. If you defined success as something you’ve already attained, that’s fabulous because it means you’re, uh, successful. More specifically though, it means that you view yourself as being successful – as having already obtained success in your life.

But if you defined success as something you’re still trying to attain, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As long as that something is a goal that you can actually reach some day. Meaning – it’s a realistic goal. Now I’m not saying that it can’t be a lofty, or challenging goal. On the contrary, my little bird. It can most certainly be a difficult goal for you to accomplish…that’s part of the fun of this whole ride, er experiment, called the game of life.

However…if you define success as something that you have not yet accomplished thus far, it may be vitally important for you to momentarily stop and take an inventory of the successes you have indeed already achieved. Just to be certain that you aren’t running around in circles chasing one specific success, getting it, and then moving on to another one without … wait for it … enjoying the fruits of your labor and without patting yourself on the back for the challenges that you’ve overcome, and the successes you have already enjoyed as you’ve journeyed along in your life.

Why?

Boy – you are demanding aren’t you?

You see, how you define success, and whether or not you think of yourself as a success, is often directly correlated to your level of happiness, to your own level of confidence, and to your self-esteem.

New challenges and successes should be something that an individual always has on their plate to look ahead towards conquering. But it is equally important to be well aware of the challenges and the successes that you’ve already conquered. Already enjoyed. Already savored. Already lived in the moment of.

For you see, if you spend your entire life trying to reach some pie in the sky version of success that you think you’ll never be able to reach or that you somehow always seem to mutate a little bit periodically in your mind so that you don’t ever actually achieve it…you’re doing yourself a great disservice.

You are worthy.

You are a success.

You are amazing.

You are all that and more.

Take stock, or inventory if you will, today of what you have accomplished. Keep it written down on a piece of paper in your purse, wallet, or desk. Or keep it in a virtual notepad on your smartphone or computer. Either way – keep it so you can refer to it when you’re feeling down and are beating yourself up over a failure, or a perceived failure.

Add a section at the bottom for your next dreams, goals, and hopes. Then mark them off one by one. Refer to this list periodically so that you can enjoy the sweet taste of victory and feel the hunger to keep going – to reach the next goal on your list.

We all stumble from time to time. But having this list will help you rebound and get back on your feet quicker.

Here’s to a lifetime of successes – big and small – that you can always know are waiting for you around the next bend in life, if you’ll just keep going. And…to the ones you’ve already knocked off the mantle and notched on the belt!

Here’s to you – Cheers!

Share with me in the comments below how you define success. Tell me all about both your past successes and your future endeavors.