What’s Your Personalised Definition of Success?

I’ve just finished reading ‘Hello Fears,’ a BRILLIANT book by Michelle Poler, known from her 100-Day Challenge and TED talk in which she faced 100 different fears. She’s such an inspiration and the book exceeded my expectations, which were pretty high to begin with! Read it.

Today, I want to share an activity from one of the later chapters, where she encourages the reader to write down what success means to them personally. Here’s what I wrote:

Success means turning my passion (writing) into a full-time job that serves and inspires others, building connection and empathy in my audience. It’s also about challenging myself to overcome a fixed, pessimistic mindset so that I can live out my values of creativity, freedom, courage and adventure.

I wrote something roughly along these lines via a Tony Robbins activity over a decade ago, though today, it’s much more specific and visible than it was back then. I also have a much better idea these days about what the opposite it – the things that I don’t want.

So… why does this matter? It matters because if you don’t know what your own unique version of ‘winning at life’ looks like, then we often fall into the trap of measuring ourselves against society’s version of success.

Heck. Even WITH this kind of clarity, I still doubt myself sometimes and feel like a failure, because I’m 37, without kids, a wedding ring, a mortgage or the security steady pay cheque. Even more so when I’m around other people who subscribe to this model as the one and only version of success i.e. parents.

But having this clarity about what I want my own life to look like, means that I’m never down for long. I can quickly remind myself that those things don’t mean success to me, or happiness for that matter. And I can review my own version of success, and measure myself by how close I am to this.

I highly recommend giving this a go right and writing down what success means to you. Even better, why not add an explanation of what it isn’t.

Not only will this give you a little more clarity about how you’re currently doing and where you’re headed, but it might also stop you beating yourself up for not living a life that you don’t even want!

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