How to Define Success
We’re more influenced than ever before in our history as humans. Success used to mean survival. At times it’s meant something as simple as victory in battle or living to a certain age or having a certain number of kids to carry on your name.
Today, however, we’re told what success is in every facet of life. Our parents have their opinion of what it looks like, as do our friends and foes and peers. Our TV’s tell us what success is. Magazines tell us what to aspire to own. (Read This: Don’t Follow The Rest of Society)
The truth is, however, that success is defined by you, and you either craft a vision of what victory is based on what you really want, or you let other influences tell you what to aspire to achieve.
One version of success will lead to meaning, purpose, and being a man of value. It will be an abundance of things that are genuinely important.
The other version is based on consuming things you don’t need and trying to impress people you may genuinely not care about – you may not even like them in the slightest.
You have to define your own verdict of what victory is, and it has to be true to who you are and the life you want to lead. It has to be your definition. Your folks should raise you rightly to seek things of real value, like family, friends, being great at what you do for work, building wealth instead of purchasing possessions, but victory still has to be decided by you.
Now, define it.
Picture your perfect life. (Read This: How to Create The Perfect Day)
There are no boundaries in what you can have or where you can live or the lady you can have by your side.
Choose things you genuinely want, and not things you want because you want to show others everything you’ve achieved.
As a guideline, my idea of victory in life is as follows…
I rise early, between 4am and 5am. I walk downstairs. My house is big, but the best part is that I can’t see my neighbors. I’m on 100 achres and I’ve got it all to myself, with the family, of course. I make a coffee, bring it outside to the porch where I read before the sun rises under the porch light. Then I work. I work for 2 hours until the lady gets up. The things are nice, but that’s not the aspiration, the life is the goal. The pace, the place, the space, the people, the work. I know that a certain level of comfort is good, but opulence doesn’t really improve the quality of life or your degree of happiness.
The problem is that as I am right now, I’m surrounded by someone else’s view of success. Every time I turn on the TV or see a pal or walk through my neighbourhood, there are influences trying to tell me what to aspire to have, few, however, push me to know what to be.
It isn’t much of a problem now because it’s something I actively think about – whether or not I’m heading in the right direction and pursuing the right things – but for a long time I just did what was expected of a guy in his twenties. I sought what I was told to seek. Living life on someone else’s terms, whether it’s going to college simply because that’s what’s expected of you, or buying clothes to fit in with a certain crowd, or a car or truck or house to show how well you’re doing, won’t bring you peace.
In the end we just want peace. We want the pace, the purpose, the space, the meaning that I briefly described earlier. We want to do something that excites us, for us, for our family, not to compare to what our neighbour is doing or has.
Your Definition as You Are Now
Rather than waiting to become, be.
Forget the place you want to be or the things you want to own or the life you eventually want to have, it’s all dependent on today.
Now, picture your perfect day with who you are and what you have, now.
That is, where you live, what you drive, who you’re with, and so forth. Think about perfection. Think about the best way to spend your day – work and training included in it – if you had to live this day every day for the remainder of your life (so it’s not a flight to Vegas that you’ll regret upon return).
How does your work day go? What time do you wake up? What time do you shut your work day down? Do you train, run, hike? Think about the pace to your day, it’s likely not rushed even though it’s effective.
Think about this day.
You can have your perfect day today, it doesn’t need to be something you continually push to the future.
Your idea of success depends on your creating this day, every day, and it can be done.
Spend a Day and Define Victory
Go big or go home. Even though my idea of success in terms of where I want to live and what I want to live in and what I want to drive and so forth is attainable, the means to getting there is audacious. The adventures I want to be a part of my life are going to be tough to accomplish, heck, they scare the crap out of me, thus, they have to be pursued.
This notion of not wanting things cannot mean that the life you want to lead is somehow less ambitious. Going big is the only way to prevent regret.
You can fail. Failure isn’t the worst thing in the world, never trying is.
Spend a day thinking about what you really want to do, the life you want to lead, the massive things you want to accomplish. Be real with yourself. Think big, but don’t let outside forces thrust you into pursuits that are not your own.
About The Author
Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live.