If success isn’t only defined by status, power, and money, then what does it mean to be successful, and how do you know when you’re there?
It all comes down to having a clear picture of what success looks like for you. Think about the times in your life you have felt like your best, true self. Ask yourself:
- What do you value most in life?
- What makes you happy?
- How do you like to spend your time?
This is going to be different for everyone, and it is likely going to change over time. But once you have that picture, once you define your success indicators, you will be less susceptible to falling into the status, power, and money trap.
Now, I’m not naïve: I acknowledge that money is an important factor in success.
We all need a base level of income to remain healthy and safe in order to thrive, and most of us likely need disposable income to afford the things that make us happiest. But there’s a caveat: money is important as a means to an end, and not the end itself. Our culture is full of stories of people who were laser focused on amassing as much money as possible, only to find themselves with no time, no hobbies, and no loved ones to enjoy it with.
When it comes to money, I strongly believe in the concept of enough: what is the minimum you need to earn in order to meet your definition of success. I work to make sure I achieve that minimum, and anything beyond that is gravy.
My personal definition of success includes:
Spending quality with the people (and pets) I love most.
Being creative in my work.
Helping others to accomplish their visions.
Having control over my schedule, workload, and stress level.
Being able to take exciting vacations all over the world.
These specific indicators have been critical for me as I’ve built my business. They are my guideposts and centering principles. Whenever I feel too stressed or like I’m being pulled toward the status, power, and money trap, I remind myself of my success definition, and refocus my efforts.
The refocusing part is important, because chances are you’ll have to remind yourself of your success indicators often. Every time you talk to someone or read about others’ goals and vision for success, it’s human nature to compare yourself to their standards and feel like you aren’t measuring up. But if you have a clear picture of what success looks like to you, you can recognize and turn off that line of thinking, and get back to your own journey.