The Meaning of Success

The meaning of success.



What a loaded sentence. Everyone has their own definition of success. I was posed with this question recently at a toastmaster’s meeting. How I responded was interesting because, I responded in a linear manner. Meaning a talked about achieving or accomplishing a goal and assessing in my mind the accumulation of goals and money. That’s where my mind went first. Interesting, considering success for me, since my college years was simple: being in a loving committed marriage, have a family and doing work that I love helping others and being creative. As I thought about that statement further, success for me is about following my heart.  Because, when I follow my heart, I have no idea what the outcome will be and therefore each time I follow my heart, I take a risk. And I have taken ALL kinds of risks. So often, we are our worst enemy, focusing on what we don’t have, haven’t done (‘right’), what we need to do differently or better until it all begins to sound like Blah Blah Blah. Can you relate?

I think back to the risks I’ve taken based on my Heart and I recall twice in my adult life, packing my car with just certain belongings such as photos, music, some books and clothes and traveling across country to a new state in which I had NO job lined up. What was I thinking?

Then I started to think about other times in my life where I followed my heart and realized that I am more of a risk-taker than I give myself credit for but I haven’t seen this aspect of myself because I’ve focused so much on the Fear I’ve felt.

I’ve taken a risk and changed careers, multiple times in my life; I’ve changed my life and began a business, which has been the scariest/hardest chapter in my life to date. I have traveled alone, I have moved across country – alone, I have made decisions that others would think and have thought, “what is she thinking ?” or “what the hell is she going to do next?” I’ve stepped outside of my comfortable box and taken more risks. I have to remember that, so that I don’t become paralyzed by the fear and the lies of Fear itself telling me something that isn’t true.  Risk takes courage.

I am a risk-taker. I follow my heart. I am courageous. My heart will take me to places, experiences and bring people into my life that I never imagined happening. That is Success – to me.

What is your definition of Success and has it changed over time?

Take a moment to acknowledge ways in which you’ve taken risks (stepped out of your comfort zone).