Success on Our Own Terms

Success on Our Terms



As a society, we are sold we need to chase certain things to be considered successful. Specifically, that we need to chase more.


More money.


More status.


More responsibility.


More accolades and awards.


More cars in our driveway.


More clients.


More room and bigger houses to fill with more stuff.


“More” and “bigger is better” is the language so often used when we talk of success.


This fits for some of us but also rings hollow for others. Some of us chase after these goals because we think we should. We are led to believe that we’ll be successful if we achieve them.


However, along the way a strange thing happens. We do achieve these goals but we’re left feeling empty and flat. No sense of real accomplishment. No sense of elation or celebration. No sense of happiness.


Is this what success feels like?


Other Ways of Gauging Success

What if we started to view success in broader terms?


What if we viewed having more undistracted time for our loved ones as successful?


What if we viewed having enough (not just more for the sake of more) money in the bank as successful?


What if we saw freedom of choice and flexibility in our work as successful rather than pats on the back, corner offices and awards?


What if we saw filling our lives with positive experiences and people as successful rather than chasing more physical possessions?


What if we chased more purpose and meaning in our work and lives?


Wouldn’t this lead us closer to a vision of success that is more tangible? A version of success that means more to us deep down.


Owning Our Version of Success

Are you really clear on your vision and version of success?


Is it yours – do you own it?


It’s easy for us to fall into the trap of absorbing what we think success looks like without really thinking about what this means to us personally. We chase a handed down version of success without really getting to the bottom of why we’re chasing it. This will never work.


We need to truly own our own brand of success.


We need to set our own benchmark for what successful is and that it is something that fits in with how we want to live our lives and it incorporates those we care about most. That version of successful might be high, broad or far-reaching or it may not be that far from where we are now.


The important thing is that we define what success will look like for us. We don’t rely on someone else’s version. We forget about needing anyone else’s approval. We know what matters to us. We know what’s worth chasing.


Set your own path, blaze your own trail.  Work hard towards your goals, whatever they may be, and live your own brand of a successful life.


Note: This is a riff off an earlier piece I wrote for the Huffington Post


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