• Laura E.P. Sheehan

How Do You Define Success?

It is a seemingly simple, but surprisingly difficult question to answer.


The first time I entertained this question was during a graduate school class in Business Administration. The instructor noted that in order to succeed, you had to both be clear on your definition of success and to act in alignment with that definition.


We all sat in silence and pondered the query. When pressed, most of us defined success as exclusively related to career or finances - achieving a certain status, title, or professional milestone.


Our professor swiftly challenged us on this collective, yet very one-sided view. Was 'success' purely professional status and/or salary? What about friends, family, travel, the experience and fostering of life, love and happiness?


Huh.


Could one proudly declare that their definition of success was making just enough money to support the comfortable (yet maybe modest) life for a family of four? Could success include seeing as much of the world as possible? What if success were tied to inspiring as many smiles as possible every day before noon?


Changing the definition certainly seems to put the concept into reach! If success is smiles and family time and simply doing my best with every day, then WOW have I done well!


Truly, when I view my life through the lens of what is, I have acquired many of the proverbial riches I yearned for in my younger days. Though I lack an official title and my bank account is not as full as I might have hoped, I appreciate that I have had a life of adventure along side my husband and with my children. I have made great progress in unexpected ways.


I am so curious - What is your definition of 'success'? How might you revise your view of that weighty word to better reflect the life that you really want for yourself?

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