Success: A Simple Tool for Creating Your Own Personal Definition

John Gamades
Apr 23 · 5 min read

Here’s the final post in my series on “success,” where I’ve been exploring how we define it, what it looks like, and the obstacles that are holding us back. Through all of this, we’ve been building a solid framework for our own definition of success. Keep in mind, how we define success is very personal. Your definition and mine may be very different. The point of this is not to have one universal definition we all share. Instead, the focus should be on creating a definition that captures your personal feelings about success — a definition you can lean into on your unique “success” journey.

To help you create your definition, I created the Defining Personal Success worksheet. I just used it myself and was able to craft my own definition. You can download it here, and it will help you take everything you’ve read and the insights we’ve gathered to define success for yourself.

Let’s begin by recapping what we’ve already heard and learned about success…

The qualities we associated with success included Success Qualities — grit, authenticity, generosity, connection, self-awareness, curiosity, and faith.

The words we used to describe success included Success Words — mindful, selfless, resilient, curious, authentic, driven, integrity, courageous, balanced, purposeful, grateful, God, and content.

When asked about the things that hold us back, the list included our Success Obstacles — fears, limiting beliefs, self-talk, comparison, the voices we were either listening to or not hearing from, our lack of a plan, not starting, and stopping too soon.

What’s Next?

With those responses in mind, we’ll wrap up this study with one final question, “In one or two sentences, what is your definition of success?” Below you’ll see quotes from the responses I received.

“In one or two sentences, what is your definition of success?”

Freedom

“To be able to do what you like to the content of your heart.”

“Living the life you want to live. Accomplishing what you want to achieve (helping those you want to help); having the valuable personal relationships you want; being/becoming the person — deep down inside — you’ve always wanted to be/become.”

“Being free to make personal and professional decisions to live the life and enjoy the experiences you desire.”

Purpose

“We are all in life for a reason. Success is discovering, aligning and expressing that reason in service to others. One cannot be successful by measuring their success against something external.”

Goals

“Finished what you started.”

“Success is making goals and achieving them.”

“There is no universal definition of success and no one thing that makes you successful, so I think it’s whatever that next milestone is for you — losing 10 pounds, getting a new job, beating a video game, etc. — It’s your definition.”

“Developing goals, focus on attaining goals, document and ensure the entire company understands the goals and the contributions they can make to the goals. Measure that success or failure, then adjust to attain goals. Wash, rinse, repeat.”

“Intentional growth towards your goals.”

“Someone with a desire for true integrity, a strong sense of self and their goals. Strength of mind, body, spirit… a clear call to excellence.”

“Success is the results that you have been striving for individually. Success could come in many different ways, but it is what you believe success looks like individually.”

Resilience

“Staying on the path toward your major purpose by ticking off the little things you need to do every day along the way. The small wins, intentional learning, stepping out of your comfort zone, experimenting, experiencing, and always moving forward, knowing that even though you don’t see results right away, they will compound over time. Everyone else will think it happened overnight, but you know the true story. You know the dark, lonely, fuzzy, confused, unclear tough times you went through on the way to that achievement. It’s not the achievement in itself, it’s knowing you stuck to the tough journey to get there and grew as a person on the way.”

Generosity

“The ability to work and enjoy life’s offerings while sharing abundance with others. Laugh often and spread positivity through relationships and interactions.”

“Achievement of something worthy of the effort…benefiting others.”

“Being so comfortable in your own skin and your financial footing that you are willing and able to help others.”

“The ability to work and enjoy life’s offerings while sharing abundance with others.”

Faith

“Success = my degree of obedience to the will of God.”

“Utilizing your God-given gifts and passion to their fullest and making the most of every opportunity you have to love God and others.”

“Love God, seek God, love people; prioritize loving & discipling family.”

Positivity

“Success is being happy and positive and bringing that happiness to everyone and everywhere you go.”

“Laugh often and spread positivity through relationships and interactions.”

Contentment

“Success, to me, is the peace of mind to enjoy where you are while looking forward to where you want to be.”

“To reach a point where work and leisure become the same.”

Relationships

“Success is what you see when someone has a slew of positivity around them, whether it’s a positive family situation or a positive work situation. Success is when someone has forward momentum in their lives, creating goodwill and scale. Success is when someone is an addition or multiplier sign, not a subtraction or division sign, and surrounds themselves with addition or multiplier signs.”

“Worked with people I loved and at a job I passionately loved.”

“I would define success as the ability to make healthy connections with others and having aspirations and goals that motivate you to want to get up and tackle each day with all you have to offer.”

The Takeaway

If you’ve read my last few posts on success and you’ve taken in everyone else’s insights on what success is, then it’s time for you to take the next step. It’s time for you to define “success” on your terms. I needed to do this for myself, and in the process, I created the Defining Personal Success worksheet. My encouragement to you right now is to download the worksheet and work on your own definition of what “success” means to you.

This simple exercise is essential for three reasons:

  1. It will help you create a compass for your life so that you know you’re heading in the right direction.
  2. It will help you filter out the noise and distractions that the world throws at us every day, trying to feed us THEIR definition of success.
  3. If you define “success” now and then work toward it, you’ll be able to look back later in life and know that you accomplished what really mattered.

If you’re ready to do this, then download the Defining Personal Success worksheet right now. It’s free, it’s yours, and it comes with no strings attached. Don’t wait!

Thank you for taking this journey with me. To stay connected and receive weekly encouragement and motivation, follow me here! — John

Age of Awareness

Medium’s largest publication dedicated to education reform | Listen to our podcast at aoapodcast.com

John Gamades

Written by

Creative, entrepreneur, blogger, husband, and dad — focused on cutting through the negative noise with a message of positivity and growth.

Age of Awareness

Stories providing creative, innovative, and sustainable changes to the ways we learn | Tune in at aoapodcast.com | Connecting 500k+ monthly readers with 1,200+ authors

John Gamades

Written by

Creative, entrepreneur, blogger, husband, and dad — focused on cutting through the negative noise with a message of positivity and growth.

Age of Awareness

Stories providing creative, innovative, and sustainable changes to the ways we learn | Tune in at aoapodcast.com | Connecting 500k+ monthly readers with 1,200+ authors

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