Should You Adjust Your Definition Of Success?

When I was younger I defined success based on outside influences. I was mindlessly following the path society had set up for me. It never even dawned on me to check in with myself to see if the path that I was on was something that would make me happy, not only in the long run but also in the present moment.

One day I finally opened my eyes and realized that my definition of success was not even close to being in alignment with what makes me happy. Not on that day, not on the next day, not in ten years.

Enter quarter life crisis mode…

I decided I needed to make some adjustments ASAP.

If you are feeling the way I was feeling then it’s time to find a better balance!

Step 1: Start by asking yourself, “How do I define success?

Be honest with yourself. Don’t worry about how you think you should answer this question, no one but you will know your response.

Step 2: Ask yourself, “Does my definition of success align with what makes me happy?

If your answer is “no” or “I’m not sure” then it’s time to make some changes.

Step 3: Make a list of everything that makes you happy.

Step 4: Compare your definition of success to your happiness list.

  • Is there any overlap? These would be key items to focus on going forward.
  • Is there potential to create a career from anything included in your happiness list? Maybe it’s time to really shake things up and go an entirely different path! Maybe it’s time to find a side hustle to work on while you maintain your full time job.
  • Have you found yourself changing your definition of success after looking at this comparison? It’s never too late to make a change. It’s scary but it is 100% possible!
  • Most importantly, is your definition of success inhibiting you from any of the items on your happiness list? If so, then it’s time to work this piece of happiness back into your life!

Step 5: Find balance 

Finding balance can be a bit tricky. It’s likely that you’ll have to play around with it to find what truly works for you.

The best advice I can give you is to look at your comparison and think about how you want to live your life. Think seriously about what the cost is of pursuing your definition of success. Is there anything that you’d be giving up on your happiness list? If there is, then this is the perfect place to find balance!

Example:

You have a high paying job that you are not passionate about. When you look forward to your future you know that this is not something you want to do long term.

Your happiness list includes travel and a hobby you’d like to turn into a career one day. You know that leaving your job to pursue your dream of making your hobby a career would cause you to lose an income that you have become accustomed to.

Losing this income would create stress in your life around paying bills.

Losing this income would inhibit you from travelling. 

Is it worth it to you to lose your ability to live comfortably and travel freely?

If yes, then go for it! If no, then this is where you find balance. 

Examples of how to find balance in this scenario:

  1. Talk to your boss about finding more flexibility in your schedule to pursue your hobby on the side.
  2. Shift your focus to appreciating that this income allows you to live comfortably and travel freely rather than focusing on the negative parts of your job.
  3. Leave your job and find a job in the same field, with the same salary, but with a work culture that is a better fit for you.  

Step 6: Be flexible. Your balance can and will change.

Finding a balance does not mean that you are abandoning your pursuit of aligning your happiness list with your definition of success. It’s merely a means to an end. If you want something bad enough and are willing to work hard for it, it will happen. It’s inevitable that in this process your circumstances will change and you will continue to grow as a person. As such, you will have to revisit this exercise periodically to see if there are further adjustments that need to be made. If you continue to check in with yourself and evolve as a person, you will absolutely be able to find success AND be happy!

Conclusion: Bottom line is that at the end of each day there are two questions you need to ask yourself.

Are you happy now?

Are you happy with where you’re going?

If your answer is no to either of those questions, it’s time to make some changes!

If you’d like to chat about your specific situation reach out to me! I am always happy to help.

Love & light,

Annie

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