Success Defined. By You.

Ask 100 people what success means to them and you’ll get 100 different responses.  There’s the superficial Lamborghini-in-the-driveway-of-the-mansion view of success.  Then there’s the more spiritual concept of contented peacefulness.  Maybe for the family oriented sort, success is all about time with loved ones.  

You’re entitled to whatever mental picture of success you want.  What matters, is that you possess a mental picture of success.  And it’s OK if the picture changes over time.  That’s called growth.  

Your Evolving View Of Success

As a 20 year old, I thought success was a Mustang 5.0 convertible with a “DAMIAN” vanity plate and a pair of snakeskin boots.  I toiled as a factory worker and laborer with that view of me, someday hitting my zenith.  

Then someday came and it dawned on me:  I’m not in a 1980s rock and roll video.  I don’t comfortably fit in that era of Mustang.  And I don’t need a vanity plate to make me any more identifiable.  The snakeskin boots are still a consideration, however!  

The point: at 40 your picture of success will be slightly different than it had been at age 20.  Today, I could have a garage full of 1988 Mustangs, all with personalized license plates.  But I no longer deem that the picture of success.  

Things change.  Life events cause change.  Hopefully, you as a person are changing for the better.  The crucial element to success isn’t that the picture stays the same.  What’s crucial, is that you don’t throw in the towel, pretending mediocrity is what you’ve always viewed as success.  

I Just Want To Be Happy!

Several of those 100 respondents we hypothetically asked, “What does success look like to you?” will answer:  “Success?  Um, I just want to be happy.”   

When I hear people say this I honestly think about hitting them with an axe handle.  My dog “just wants to be happy” too.  You’re a grown up.  And a human.  You are in charge of your life, much as many people pretend otherwise, thereby avoiding responsibility for the outcome.   Saying “I just want to be happy” won’t make you happy.   Happiness is an active choice and generally requires doing something with purpose.  

So it goes with success.  How you define it is up to you.  The important step is that you do define it.   Then burn a picture in your brain of what it looks like.  That’s where you’re going.  Success, as defined by you, is your journey and your destination.  Do you see it?  

To help you out, here’s my definition of success

Each day, doing more of my choosing, and less that is imposed upon me.  With financial resources to do so.  Actively, enjoyably, and flavorfully.  

Notice my version of success involves working.  But increasingly, I want it to be on my conditions.  That’s where the money comes in.  Not for the vanity plates, but for the choice it affords me.  Lastly, success to me is being physically active til death, with my wife and dog, then enjoying good food, beer, and possibly a cigar!  

To me, working and living on one’s own terms, IS success.  What’s your definition?   

Damian Mason is a self made success who can help you or your organization be more successful.  www.damianmason.com  

Angie Carel