If only success had a GPS, a simple path that anyone could follow to lead them to their pot of gold.
It doesn't work that way, because we all have our own definition of success, and while its components may be the same--financial security, freedom, balance, family, well being, gratitude, impact--the way we prioritize what's important is very personal. Each journey is unique. Lose sight of that and you lose sight of what success is, an intimately personal mindset.
Much of your individual definition of success was shaped early in life by what you may have seen your own parents struggle with or take joy in. Success might mean confronting very primitive fears that you have to overcome in order to feel you are in control of your life. It may be accepting that while you may not achieve an original goal you are proud in having tried to achieve it. Whatever the case, success is ultimately about being content in who you are and confident in your choices.
Yet, most often, we see success as a relative measure, which is benchmarked against well accepted social norms of what it means to be successful. Are you in the Inc 5000, are you part of the 1%, are you on the Forbes list of the world's wealthiest people?
I can tell you from personal experience, having known and worked with the wealthiest of the wealthy, that without exception the most successful people I know measure success. first and foremast, by how they think about themselves. They define it from the inside out, not from the outside in.
Don't get me wrong, I've yet to meet anyone who has achieved even a modicum of success who is not intensely competitive and driven by a nearly pathologic need to win. Yet, these same people, although they may now be successful by any external measure, saw themselves just as successful when they had little to no external reason to feel that way. Having their success measured in some societally objective way may be validate their success to the rest of the world, but they never needed the validation to shape their view of themselves.
Your Own Measure of Success
So, given that, how successful are you? Tell you what, I'm going to make it easy for you to answer that question, But here's the deal, you need to be 100% honest with yourself. Deal?
I've created a short assessment that benchmarks success--not against any single dimension of success, in the way it may be popularly measured, but rather against the mindset, attitudes, and behaviors of people I have encountered and worked with over the years who are role models of success. This includes some of the world's wealthiest billionaires, but it also includes hundreds of entrepreneurs, CEOs, authors, and people who I consider role models for their courage and their fearlessness in taking on life's challenges.
So, take the short assessment (it's no more than a minute) read the personalized analysis that you get immediately after you answer all of the questions, and then come back to read some final thoughts about your success.
Ready? Remember 100% honesty! See you in a few minutes....
So, were you surprised by how you ranked? Clearly, there's much more detail to what drives and motivates you, but the glimpse you just got shouldn't be at all surprising. If it is you may want to take a reading on how much you are being driven by external factors and metrics in defining success rather than your own.
At the end of the day the basic attitudes of success people are simple:
- They do what they love to do.
- They constantly strive to live without regrets.
- They do not need external validation of who they are.
- They confront their fears head-on.
- Their optimism comes from a source inside of themselves not from their context.
Whatever your results, the most important thing to keep in mind is that success is a very personal mindset. That's not a Pollyannaish way of thinking, it's a truth that I've witnessed time and time again.
When you see yourself as successful you are and you will be.
Congratulations, "you've arrived at your destination!"