A Two-Tiered Definition of Successful – How and Why It’ll Change Your Life
Each time I write an article the same thought rushes through my head. What will I talk about and will it be worthy of my audience?
I love writing. I love everything about it. The mind dump, the continuous editing, and the feeling of completion when it’s all over. There isn’t a single aspect of it I don’t enjoy.
Wait a second.
Before I trap myself, I don’t particularly enjoy crafting the perfect headline. I can’t tell you how many times I thought I had it when my wife walked in the room and said there was nothing about it that made her want to read the article.
That aside, I love writing.
Which is why when I write, I become overly aware of everything I’m writing. I analyze and critique it much harder than I would, say if the article were just going to stay in my rough draft folder. No matter how hard I try, when I write I find it difficult to be truly happy with what I’ve written. It feels like it’s never good enough.
And I don’t believe that I’m alone. I believe that the not good enough feeling happens to all of us.
When the pressure is on, we humans tend to do one of two very different things. We either rise to the occasion (the ideal outcome) or crumble underneath it (for obvious reasons, not so ideal).
Who or what decides why that happens?
The answer is surprisingly easy. It’s us. We decide. We decide the moment that we accept whatever it is we’re about to do. It’s no different than the articles I choose to write each week. I know that I must rise if I am to be successful.
And that’s where the challenge of it is. What is our definition of successful? If we are to rise so that we may be successful, what is successful?
I suppose the easy answer is to look it up in the dictionary (or online as I did).
Dictionary.com has given its definition of successful as:
- achieving or having achieved success.
- having attained wealth, position, honors, or the like.
- resulting in or attended with success.
But even knowing that doesn’t make it clear. We are left with a vague definition that uses the root word to define itself. Not terribly efficient.
So then what?
What is the definition of successful?
There really isn’t any one definition. Successful is whatever you make of it. It’s the culmination of work to achieve the outcome that you desire to achieve.
And that’s why we’re often so hard on ourselves when we’re doing something that will lead to us being successful. Our definition of it is unrealistic. We live our lives force fed ideas of what being successful is.
- Fast cars
- Big Houses
- Expensive Watches
- Luxury Vacations
- Useless Garbage
So when the pressure is on and it’s time to perform at a level just a little higher than we’re accustomed to, we crumble. We look at our inflated definition of being successful and think that it’s impossible to achieve. So, we give up before we’ve even given it the chance it deserves.
If this seems depressing, it’s because it is. Our definition of being successful has been manipulated by outside interference and we accept that we will never achieve it.
All isn’t lost. The only way to combat this is to give new meaning to being successful. To do this, we must create a tiered level of what is being successful. That is, we must have a far-fetched definition of what success is and we must also have a day-by-day definition of it.
Take this post as an example. I began writing it with the expectation that it will be my best one to date. I wanted to not only give you something tangible to think about but to impress you as well. In reality, as I continue to type, I realize that my only job is to be happy with what I have written. Nothing more, nothing less. Zero pressure.
It was 4 simple questions that led me to this realization.
- Does it align with my message?
- Is it well written?
- Will it help you?
- Does it fit my definition of successful?
You see, my definition resides within these four questions I asked and answered. This simple task brought me to realize that by answering them I am obligated to put my best work forward without fear or thought of the things I write. And you know what? It works.
More so, having an achievable day-to-day definition (these questions) gets me out of bed each morning with drive, ambition, and determination. This definition is the one that allows me to feel good at the end of the day because I lived it. The definition keeps me moving forward with its continuous small wins. Above these, this is the one that helped me write this post when I was being far too critical.
Ask yourself right now, “Do I have two very different definitions of being successful?” If the answer is anything but “Yes” take some time to think about it and create it.
Don’t take your thoughts for granted either. Make it compelling. What are your deepest desires? If you could achieve anything you wanted right now, what would it be? Write it down. Rehearse it. Remember it.
Write it down.
With that in mind, write down what you can do each day that will get you one step closer to achieving your far-fetched definition. Whatever you write down, keep it attainable on a daily scale. Make it so that each little victory keeps you moving forward. This will be your day-to-day achievable definition of successful.
This task or this exercise is not overly difficult, yet it’s extremely powerful. It will help you create the lifestyle that you not only desire, but also deserve.
Remember, small wins over time will compound to huge wins in the long run. Treat your life this way and you will have no choice but to attain the huge win.
Cheers to your success,