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A New Definition of Success

By Lori Radun

How do you define success? Would you consider yourself successful? Most people define success as achieving some preconceived, future condition in their lives. If I can raise my children to be happy and confident adults, then I will be successful. Or when I make $100,000 a year, I will be a success. The problem with defining success based on an impending outcome is that by the time you reach "success", you have formed a new perception of what success means to you. And you have missed the thousands of "successful" moments in your life while trying to achieve that condition you call "success".

Success is not a destination - it is a journey. What if success meant being happy and content with your current state of being? This definition requires us to look at our personal desires and values - those things that are important to us. Brian Tracy, author of Maximum Achievement, identifies six requirements for success. These requirements are peace of mind, good health and a high level of energy, loving relationships, financial freedom, commitment to worthy goals and ideals, and a feeling of personal fulfillment or self-actualization. If you take a close look at each of these items, they are all about who you are, not what you do. It is healthier to develop a three dimensional view of success:

  1. Be the best you can be
  2. Create an action plan for what you want in the future
  3. Enjoy all that life has to offer right now
Let's compare the old definition of success with the new one. Using the old definition of success, my coaching practice will be considered successful when I have a full practice, I am making six figures, and I am in high demand for speaking. I will purchase all the right tools to market my business, and model myself after all the experts. Sounds pretty empty, doesn't it?

The new definition of success would say that I am successful if I like who I am as a coach. If I have satisfying and rewarding coaching relationships with clients that I love, then I am successful. If I have a vision of what my coaching practice looks like in the future, and have a plan in place to get there, then I am successful. Because I love what I do, I am successful. This means I am successful now, and will continue to be successful as long as I am content. And if for some reason my state of contentment should change, I need to ask myself what I need to change about me to bring about happiness and success.

Now, ask yourself if you are successful? Do you have peace of mind and good health? Are you enjoying loving relationships in your life? Do you have enough money to minimize your worries? Does your life have meaning and purpose, and are you committed to becoming everything you are capable of becoming? If you answered yes to these questions, then you are successful. If you answered no to any of these questions, then what do you need to change about you to achieve personal contentment? Look at your thoughts, feelings, desires, actions, dreams, habits and personality characteristics. You have everything you need inside of you to be a raving success!

Copyright © 2007 Lori Radun, CEC
Lori Radun, CEC is a certified life coach for moms.
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