To find success, define success

A few weeks ago we established that “failure” is not a moment in time, an ending, or an event. 

But what about success?

Success, it turns out, is also not final. 

It isn’t like a movie we are watching, with a defined endpoint, when success has been achieved, the music begins, and we fade off the screen. 

When we achieve success, everything else just keeps going. And thank goodness for that. 

What comes after success?

The next success. 

If we achieved our first-ever goal, and then everything ended, we had arrived, there was nothing left to do… well, that wouldn’t give us much to look forward to for the rest of our lives. 

So that moment of achievement is just that: a moment that is followed by the next moment and the next action or activity. 

What I am suggesting here is a new way to think about success. 

Make success more than a destination

Make it a way of life. 

Success is subjective, it has to mean something to you. When you craft your definition of success, make sure that it balances the things in life that matter to you. 

Create a definition of success that is at the same time:

  1. An aspiration
  2. Achievable
  3. Perpetual


Your idea of success must motivate you, every day. It should be what you strive to achieve. 


That doesn’t mean you haven’t already achieved it. Because once you have achieved it, you want to maintain it. 


And keeping that success for the long term is what provides both the ongoing motivation and the ongoing satisfaction of getting there every day. 

For example: if part of your idea of success is to make it to your daughter’s soccer practice every Thursday, that may be something you are already doing (achievable), and not let work or life get in the way of you continuing to do it (aspiration), and that brings you joy today, as it brought you joy yesterday as it will bring you joy tomorrow (perpetual).

What next

What is success for you?

Go beyond numbers or singular achievements. If you think of a certain revenue or salary, ask yourself why that number. If you think of the opportunity to purchase a car or a house, ask yourself why that matters. 

Find out what the ongoing joy of the goal means to you. 

You can’t create it if you can’t define it.