Is Your View of “Success” Leading to a Successful Life?

By James H. Blackburn, Best-selling Author, “seeds of Intent”

How often does the subject of “success” come up in family, social and professional discussions? I hear it frequently as I travel through the world of Personal and Professional Development. Yet when I ask a person what success means to him or her, I hear vague answers at best. “It’s personal,” he or she will say. And I will agree and then ask again. °© is time he or she might say “It’s different for everyone.” And I will agree and ask again, “What does success mean to you?” As I continue to ask, the answer is never quite clear and my questioning begins to create some discomfort as he or she struggles to clearly articulate a personal definition of what success means to him or her.

Given my past experiences, asking clients and acquaintances about success, my observations are that the term success is at best something that all of us profess a desire for, yet very few of us can express what success means to them when asked about it.

Why do you think expressing a clear definition of success is so difficult? And if you think you’re different than most of the people I have talked with and your definition is understandable, realistic and attainable, try something for me. Write your definition of success in a paragraph or less on a blank sheet of paper and then put it in a folder that you don’t open for at least 24 hours. After a day or so, and before you open the folder containing your success definition, write your definition again. Now open your folder. What do you see? Are the two definitions the same? And I mean exactly the same, word for word. If so, you are a unique and remarkable person, and I would like to meet you to hear about your life. If the two definitions are not the same, then clarifying your definition of success is something you may want to consider.

You are now probably asking yourself, “What’s so important about having a clear definition of success?” That’s a very fair question, and as you might imagine, the purpose of the rest of this two-part article is to respond to that question. There are many reasons why a clear definition of success is important with some being obvious while others not. For purposes of this article, I will focus on just two.

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