There’s one thing I’m certain about in this life. That one thing is this: Regardless of where you are in your life right now, you can make the decision to change your position. It all begins with this one nugget of truth: you really do have a choice. It doesn’t matter what your situation is; how scary it looks or how impossible it seems – you always have a choice. So, choose!
Define Success with 5 simple Steps
I believe the greatest thing a person can do to lead a joy-filled life and maintain a positive attitude is to define their own success. It’s very easy to judge one’s self based upon society’s standards, but that leads to unnecessary anxiety and unhappiness. Once that societal pressure is lifted from an individual’s life, he/she can really begin to experience true happiness and success, because they’ve defined those very things on their own terms. Your success may be very different from mine, and it should be different. Why? We’re different!
What is success?
If you’re worried that going for what you want may be considered selfish, don’t! Think about it like this: In order to function near the highest level of your potential, you must understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. The only way to know for sure is by figuring out what you’re meant to do and how to do that without losing the genuine nature with which you began. One cannot take these steps if he/she is trying to fit into a boxed category. Each individual is the very definition of the word, itself – you were born unique and should live as such. No one is all one way or another. To truly hone in on one’s purpose and what successfully living that purpose should be like, he/she has to determine each element apart from the wants and needs of others. Only then will you come to know your truly, individualized definition of success, which encompasses your life’s purpose and your ultimate happiness.
What are your success factors?
So, how can you begin to strip away the unnecessary things in your life and create your own, one-of-a-kind success? I’ll give you a summary of the 5 steps to get you to your destination.
Step One: Forget about Everything You Thought You Knew You Wanted.
How much of what you say you want is really what YOU want? We live in a world powered by influence. We’re so influenced by influences we don’t even know when we’ve been influenced. (Yes, just read over that sentence again. I promise it makes sense.) It’s not a matter of influence being good or bad. It’s a matter of knowing when you’ve been influenced to a point in which you’re seeking things in life that you don’t really want.
Take some time and really think about what would make you happy. If you feel so far from happy that you’re not sure what to consider, think back to a time when you were enjoying life. Sit and daydream.
It doesn’t matter what you dream about right now. The goal, here, is to get your imagination churning again. Nothing is off limits. Do not consider the thoughts or opinions of others. You want to figure out what success means to you, not what it means for you and everyone else.
Step Two: Strip Down to the Surface
List all the things you thought about when you were daydreaming; imagining. You know from the start that you will not become a flying unicorn, but put it on the list anyway. (And, if you do achieve flying unicorn status, please, please, please send me a photo. That’d be too awesome!)
Beneath each item on your list, describe why you want it. If you can’t think of a reason, you don’t really want it. Remove that item from the list. If your reason mentions anyone else, remove that item from the list.
After you’ve added your reasons and removed the items that do not belong, list how each item will improve your life. No matter how big or small the improvements may seem, they’re all significant.
Improvements suggest that you’re moving in a positive direction.
Step Three: Stock Your Arsenal
Make a list of advantages and disadvantages associated with your definition of success and the changes necessary to achieve that success. No, your happiness is not contingent upon the happiness of others and you don’t need anyone’s approval to make changes. However, your greatest cheerleaders may still have questions or concerns. By creating a list of pros and cons, you’ll be equipped to answer questions and they’ll know that you considered them somewhere along your path of discovery. They just need some assurance.
Have a few alternative routes to achieving your goals. Hopefully, you won’t have to use them, but it’s not a bad idea to have a contingency plan. You can’t predict the future. In the event that your original road to success falls apart, there’s no reason to turn back or stop the journey. Regroup and take the next route. The destination never changes, so set your sights on it. It’ll be there… waiting for you… no matter the road you travel or how long it takes.
Step Four: Build Your Team
You need a team for support, plain and simple. Change is hard. Taking responsibility for your own happiness can be scary, because there’s no longer anyone or anything to blame if you’re unsuccessful or unhappy. It’s all you. So, it’s a good idea to have someone on your team who can encourage you when you’re having a bad day.
Step Five: Go!
You’ve defined your own success. You’re armed with everything you need. You’ve built your team.
There’s nothing left for you to do, except go! Get started! Put your plan in motion. Start making strides toward your dream life today – right now!
“The sky is not the limit. The sky is only the beginning!” ~Jean