Define Your Success Before You Pursue It

May 15, 2014

Regardless of status or position in life, most people want more. More money, more recognition, more respect, more accomplishments, more success. Success is a universal pursuit. I’ve never met anyone who isn’t pursuing it. Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so but I do think it is important to define and personalize. If you don’t, then your life will be spent comparing yourself to others. That is a bad thing because it robs you of the joy of living your life freely.  

What is success?

At the end of the day, defining success is personal and subjective. But I think it’s fair to say that when someone feels successful, they have accomplished something positive, achieved a goal. Personally, finishing a 1/2 marathon in under two hours was a success for me; I set a goal and achieved it. For someone else, my time would be a total failure. Again, success can be relative, but the recipe for realizing whatever success you are after is basically the same–faithfulness, diligence, and perseverance in your relationships, dreams and opportunities.

[Tweet “A successful life is about building a faithful life.”]

What is it you’re after and why is it important? Have you defined it and are you sacrificing other important areas of your life to achieve it? If you haven’t defined it then you don’t know exactly what you’re after. You certainly won’t know when you achieve it. Spending time to think and dream about your future is an important discipline. Paint a picture of your future and then really examine your motives. What it is going to take to get there and what will be sacrificed along the way? Then ask yourself if it’s worth it. If success in one arena of life leads to failure in another, are you really successful? If you make a million dollars but your family falls apart, is it worth it?

Categories of success

I’m not a fan of compartmentalizing your life into categories but for the sake of defining success, it’s helpful. Take some time and think through your Friendships, Career, Family, Finances, Spiritual Life, Hobbies, Education and any other important pursuits. What does success look like in each area? Where do you want to be 1, 3, 5, 10 years from now? As your dreams begin to formulate on paper, it will inform what’s needed to pursue them faithfully. You’ll be forced to honestly wrestle with your priorities and determine what is most important to the life you want to build and your future success. Blessings. 

Stay tuned for a follow up post: How To Build On Your Success