Defining Our Own Version of Success

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

More money.

More status.

More responsibility.

More awards.

More cars.

Bigger houses filled 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. We chase 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 flat. No sense of accomplishment. No sense of elation or celebration.

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.

Own Your Version of Success

Are you really clear on your vision of success?

Is it really your own version of success?

Do you truly own it?

It’s easy for us to fall into the trap of absorbing what we think success looks like without ever 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 really own our own brand of success.

We need to set our aim somewhere that suits us, it needs to fit with the people we care about most. That might be high, broad or far-reaching or it may be not too 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 a secondhand version. We don’t need anyone’s approval. We know what matters to us. We know what’s worth chasing.

Work hard towards your goals whatever they may be and live your own brand of a successful life.

Note: This is a refreshed post from an earlier version at the Huffington Post

Carl is the proud owner of Frictionless Living which is focused on helping readers find and live their own version of a simpler, good life. He is also the author of several books including A Short Guide to Living Well, Need Less, Live More and 22 Ways to Simpler Living.