Success is a word that gets tossed around without using the correct definition.

It doesn't mean riches or fame.

It doesn't mean good health.

It doesn't mean you get everything you want.

The correct definition is "achieving a goal"--which for some can mean just getting through the holidays without fighting with your family or making it to the end of the quarter without having to declare bankruptcy.

Success also has a very close cousin, though. Here it is:

Every successful person needs to live in a constant state of thankfulness and gratitude. Without thankfulness, you will never experience true success.

That's timely considering the holiday coming up tomorrow, right? Thanksgiving is not just a holiday and an excuse to stuff yourself full of food and eat pumpkin pie, although I'm planning to do those things. We all need an "attitude of gratitude" because any sense of well-being, achievement, and wholeness doesn't come without help. Truly successful people are always thankful because they know they received help; they acknowledge the contribution of others; they don't view success as just personal fulfillment but a team effort that leads to worthwhile accomplishments.

Are you experiencing some dark days? Bank account running low? Try to figure out out how to be thankful, maybe that you have breath in your lungs or a spouse who loves you. Be thankful you have a job. Be thankful you have friends. With that reconstituted attitude, you'll suddenly gain a new perspective. Why? Because success is always ephemeral. It comes and goes. It rises and falls. With a heavy dose of gratitude, baked into your subconscious, you will get through the low points.

I just did this on a trip to LA last week. I had a stomach-ache when I got to the airport. I was tired. I felt a little down about a major work project falling through. I was hungry. Then it hit me. I need to be thankful for the fact that I'm even alive, that I brought my daughter along on the trip and we shared some laughs, that I even have a job where I get to travel to a busy airport and deal with the chaos of crowds.

What about you? Don't do the cheesy "what are you thankful for" thing tomorrow and just list off a few of your accomplishments and wins. Don't bother making a list like that; live out your thankfulness. Link it to your success. Keep it at the forefront in everything you do and as your primary attitude, not just on a holiday.

Gratitude is an attitude.

I really want to hear how it goes. If you develop this attitude and start seeing success and gratitude as closing tied, will you email me and tell me about some examples of how having that attitude helped you through some tough times?