How do you know when you’re successful?

How do you know when you’re successful? 

This isn’t an easy question.  Are we successful when we get in to a specific university?  Or maybe achieve a certain job?  Get to a certain weight?  Buy a certain car?   Live in a certain neighborhood?  Do we even celebrate and savor our successes?  Or do we immediately move on to the next achievement?  Do we ever get happy or content?

It’s so hard to even know what we really want because society is constantly telling – no yelling at us about what we want.  And we’re listening.  We have the media to tell us that we need to buy this car or be that thin or join this gym or earn this much money in order for us to be successful. College freshman are required to declare a major right away.  How do you know at 18 what you want to do for your life?  All I knew at 18 was …. Well I knew very little at 18! 

I think the trick is to really think about what you want and regularly reevaluate.  Do you want to get healthier?  What does that mean?  Good (or better) cholesterol?  Blood pressure under control?  Able to run a marathon?  Able to walk up a flight of stairs?  WHY do you want what it is you want?  This week I wanted to stay away from sugar.  I did.  YAY ME – that makes me a success!  If your goal was to drink an extra glass of water every day – and you did – then YOU are a success!  And if your goal was to run a mile without walking – and you did – then you, too, are a success!  Know it!

All of us have different goals and measures for our own successes. But the problem with them is really understanding throughout the process of achieving them, that it’s still what you want.  Sometimes we tell ourselves and others what our goal is so often we either believe it (true or not) or think that we have no way out of it.  We may or may not be able to articulate what we really want but our hearts know when we’re not happy.  And sometimes that university, job, car, or weight that we thought would make us happy – doesn’t cut it.  And then what?  We find ourselves not celebrating a victory that wasn’t ours.  In fact, we might even feel confusingly unhappy. 

Are you willing to do what’s necessary?  If you’re not, you probably don’t want it badly enough.  If you are, you are a success. 

I’m not here to tell you that you shouldn’t lose the weight you want to lose.  Nor am I going to tell you not to run that marathon or take that zumba class.  I’m not here to tell you that the weight you choose is too high or too low.  The same way that I won’t judge the car you drive or the university you attended or the job you have.  Your choices are yours.  What I can suggest is that you evaluate your choices on a regular basis so you’re on the right path.  Don’t think you have to be in a certain profession because you’ve said for years that it’s the profession for you.  If you find yourself doing nothing towards that goal, you might want to rethink.  Don’t lose 50 pounds because society says you need to weigh 50 pounds less.  Lose it if YOU want to lose it.  Don’t run a marathon because the people you run with are running marathons.  Do it because YOU want to do it.  And celebrate you – for the success you are! 

Set goals.  Be realistic – even lofty.  Do what’s necessary to accomplish your goals. Stretch yourself.  Evaluate on a regular basis.  Set new ones. But recognize when you’ve achieved something YOU wanted to achieve.  CELEBRATE!  You’re SUCCESSFUL! 

Inspiration may come from others, but motivation comes from within.  And success only happens when you know it.  Image

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3 thoughts on “How do you know when you’re successful?

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