Last year my good friend captured this beautiful candid moment with my then 4-month-old daughter Zoe. When I saw it for the first time, tears began streaming down my face. These weren't tears of sadness, rather tears of immense joy.
This picture captured me arriving at a place of inner peace, calm, and happiness that I had spent most of my life searching for.
You see, I had spent too many years living the life I thought was expected of me, rather than the life that was true to me. I had always looked up to my father and wanted to model his success as an entrepreneur. So I got my business degree, and by 25, I had built a million-dollar human resources company.
I exhausted myself striving for perfection--the perfect house, perfect family, perfect body. The money came in, and I filled my life with stuff--expensive stuff. But it was never enough. The newness always wore off and I soon needed something better to make me feel good. My penchant for new and better stuff left me feeling unfulfilled, and my bank account took an unhealthy hit as well.
What I really wanted was the same thing all of us want: happiness. How I went about finding it, however, delivered only temporary bursts of pleasure, not lasting joy.
The fact is, today we have more food, cars, and clothes, better health, double the income, bigger houses, and more conveniences than we had 50 years ago. Yet, according to the World Database of Happiness, we have not become any happier. In fact, once a person has enough income to live on, additional wealth has little impact on happiness.
I was successful in the eyes of the world, because I was an entrepreneur with a growing business, and had all the material wealth and status that came along with that. Yet despite my professional success, privately I was falling apart--depressed, hopeless, miserable, and hiding an eating disorder from my family and from the world.
I walked away from the financial stability of my business and embarked on a crusade of self-discovery, diving into self-development and seeking mentors to help me heal and grow. Eventually I found my true path: to be a leadership coach and speaker empowering women to think and play bigger in their personal and professional lives.
This did not happen overnight. It was a years-long process of discovering who I am at my core, what work I was put here to do, and what I want my legacy to be. Along the way, I learned why my quest for success had gone so wrong.
The measure of a successful life isn't your job title, the size of your house, or the beautiful things you can afford. True success is living the life that is authentic to who you are. It's living fully and fulfilling your true purpose on earth while embracing joy.
To find true happiness, you need to define success by what holds real meaning in your life -- relationships, making a difference, and living authentically. I can almost promise you that if you chase after the next best thing, you'll be disappointed. After the short-term thrill, you will be let down once the newness wears off.
So here are six ways you can define your own version of success:
1. Create your own standards. Quit judging yourself according to other people's definitions of success. Decide what is most important in your life -- perhaps it's happy relationships, a successful career, or health and fitness. Then for each one, find a way to measure your progress that is meaningful to you.
2. Choose the path of fulfillment. You can have all the money in the world, the finest house in the neighborhood, and the most impressive job title, but it won't mean a thing unless you are living the life you were meant to live. Find your calling in life. Listen to your heart. And aim for inner fulfillment, not external symbols of success.
3. Focus on doing one percent more. It's important to set goals, but once you know where you're heading, it's time to turn your focus to each step of the journey. If you commit yourself to doing and giving just a little bit more than you were willing to yesterday, you will bring yourself closer every day to your ultimate goal of success.
4. Set intrinsic verses ego goals. Decide what character muscles you want to build while in pursuit of your goals. Who do you want to become? What character muscles do you want to grow? By creating success measures that are intrinsically rooted, rather than ego based, will help you to create real change and sustain your motivation during challenging times.
5. Gift it forward. Knowing that you have done your part to make the world a better place can bring the greatest sense of fulfillment of all. When you measure your success, ask yourself: have I made a difference to someone's life? Do my efforts help to improve the world around me?
6. Develop resilience. No matter what your ultimate goal is or how you measure success, inevitably there will be roadblocks in your way. You will make mistakes, and things won't always go your way. The difference between success and failure is whether you learn from those mistakes and persevere in the face of setbacks -- or give up on your dream.
For me, authentic happiness has emerged from a combination of passion, confidence, optimism and the pursuit of a lifestyle that gives me what I've always wanted: to be fully present to my children as they grow up, to know that I am making a valuable difference in the lives of others, and to be grounded in who I am and what I stand for.
After all, isn't it our innate human desire to know that our life matters? Don't we all want to be assured that we are living lives of significance and will leave the world a little better than when we found it?
Decide on your own measures of success. Own them. And commit to living them today.
Follow Teawna Pinard on Twitter: www.twitter.com/teawnapinard
This article about accomplishment is going to explain the meaning of success and shall answer the question: “How to define success in life?” In the following, you can find a definition of success and what it means to be successful in life. (For a more detailed explanation of success, have a look at what is success. Also, be sure not to miss: how to measure success and what does success mean to you. Definition of Success: Success(the opposite of failure) is the status of having achieved and accomplished an aim or objective. Being successful means the achievement of desired visions and planned goals. Furthermore, success can be a certain social status that describes a prosperous person that could also have gained fame for its favorable outcome. The dictionary describes success as the following: “attaining wealth, prosperity and/or fame”.
How to define success in life?
The only person that can answer the question above is you. I am neither able nor willing to prescribe the ultimate definition of success, as this is not possible. Every person is thinking differently about being prosperous in life and is defining success in another way, so there can’t exist a definition that is suitable for all. It is very important that you know exactly how to define success in life! Make yourself aware what accomplishment, success, and prosperity in general means to you in your life. Some might define success as having luxurious cars and a huge mansion, whereas others consider a life full of joy and happiness with their family as the true meaning of success. Once you have figured out what is important for you personally you are able to focus on your visions and goals.
The meaning of success
One of the most importantkey steps to achieving success in lifeis to know the meaning of success for your personal life. The true meaning of success goes far beyond the common definitions of success, such as having a lot of money, being wealthy, having a lot of tangibles and earned degrees. Quite the opposite: true success in life cannot be measured with the above-named factors, but instead with the amount of people that are able to live a better and more advanced life because of what you created. This is the meaning of success. Not the trophies people are collecting in their lives. Media and society let us often conclude that living a successful life means to be extraordinarily wealthy and have a lot of tangibles. But the meaning of success is to live a happy life and to make this world a better place for everyone.
Is a fancy sports car really the definition of success?
Definition of failure
The opposite of success is failure as it means to fail while trying to achieve aims or objectives. Besides this regular definition of failure, it also can be said that even wealthy and successful persons fail in their lives. Just think about the rich and famous and all their scandals, addictions and suicides. All of them were extraordinary persons but a lot of them were also extremely unhappy with their lives and were not able to see the meaning of success. Wealth cannot be defined with money, but instead with values in your life that make you a happy person, such as friendship, relationships, and your family.
- The difference between accomplishment and success:
Accomplishment is often associated with success, but it is not the same. Accomplishment refers to the results we desire when we attempt to reach specific goals. Basically it is the results that we plan or expect to occur. Successis the positive consequence or outcome of an achieved accomplishment.
- The definition of accomplishment
Accomplishment can be seen as the process to become successful and with every accomplished goal you take a step towards prosperity and a life full of success.
How to achieve success in life?
- The process of becoming successful starts with elaborated goal setting
- Define a strategy and a plan how you intend to reach your goals, aims, and visions
- Keep in mind that success is the consequence of having earned a series of accomplishments, so make sure to divide your goals into easier to reach subgoals
In the following, I have found some very inspiring and motivating quotes that shall accompany you on your journey to achieve happiness.
Action is the foundational key to all success. ~ Pablo Picasso
Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other. ~ Abraham Lincoln
Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure. ~ George Edward Woodberry
Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. ~ Jim Rohn
Keep in mind the meaning of success and always try to remember how to define success in life, so that you will be able to live a life full of happiness and joy.
Photo by Fabio Aro
The article Accomplishment – The Meaning of Success and How to Define Success in Life was presented by Personal Development Blog.