Week 13: What is Success?


What is success anyhow?  Is success having a big house, a fancy sports car, a well-paying prestigious job, being the leader, being famous?

I don’t think so.



Tony Robbins says it’s a focus on something that brings value to world, not dollars to your bank account.




Brian Tracy identifies that success is the ability to solve problems.


Earl Nightingale defines success as the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.

The definition in the dictionary is:

suc·cess – səkˈses/


  • the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.  “the president had some success in restoring confidence”

synonyms:  favorable outcome, successfulness, successful result, triumph

“the success of his play”

  • the attainment of popularity or profit.

synonyms: prosperity, affluence, wealth, riches, opulence

“the trappings of success”

  • a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity.

synonyms: triumph, bestseller, blockbuster, sellout

“I must make a success of my business”
Zig Ziglar has a list of what Success IS and what Success ISN’T:


What Success Is:

  1. Success is knowing that you did a great job when you close the door to your office at the end of each workday and head for home.
  2. Success is having a home and people to love who love you in return.
  3. Success is having the financial security to meet your obligations each month and the knowledge that you have provided that security for your family in the event of your demise.
  4. Success is having the kind of faith that lets you know where to turn when there seems to be no place to turn.
  5. Success is having an interest or hobby that gives you joy and peace.
  6. Success is knowing who you are, and Whose you are.
  7. Success is taking good care of you and waking up healthy each day.
  8. Success is slipping under the covers at the end of the day and realizing with gratitude that, “It just doesn’t get much better than this!”

You see from this list that success is defined by more than one sentence. Success involves the whole person, and if you skimp on one area, you will limit your success.

Now, let’s take a look at what success isn’t.

What Success Isn’t:

  1. Success isn’t missing dinner with the family several times a week because of working excessively.
  2. Success isn’t rushing home from work and hiding out with the TV thinking, “After the day I’ve had, I need my space!”
  3. Success isn’t about how to make more money when you already have more money than you can spend.
  4. Success isn’t about going to church and ignoring everything you hear.
  5. Success isn’t all work and no play.
  6. Success isn’t about being so busy that you live on unhealthy fast food, served to you through little windows.
  7. Success isn’t spending mental energy worrying about late projects, being home on time, your health, missing your child’s school play, being able to pay your bills, or finding joy in your life.
  8. Success isn’t texting while you drive to catch up on your overloaded schedule.


For me, success is actively pursuing something that adds value to the world and my own life.  Whether or not I am ‘great’ at that something, is irrelevant, as long as I am open to learning, adjusting and improving, and that I work at it with my best efforts to do the best job that I can.

We often judge people from our own personal opinions, morals and beliefs because somehow…we obviously know better.  Success looks different for each person, and judging other people’s lives does not do a thing for them, but it says a lot about who you are.  We need to look inwardly and work on our own success.

I have said it before; Know yourself.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  Be vulnerable and be teachable.  Be willing to learn from others – you can learn something from ANYONE.  Stop believing that you know everything or can do things better than others. You can’t.  You need to rely on other people if you want to become successful.

I believe that part of success is also service to others.  When you have become successful in one area of your life, you should help others who seek that same information.

And…as I have said ‘successful in one area of your life’, let’s not forget that it is possible to be wildly successful in one area, but not successful in other areas.  Success is not just about money and career.  Success includes relationships, spirituality, health and fitness, communication skills, as well as your other talents and hobbies of pursuit.

The mind is an amazing thing. We can achieve anything if we have the correct mindset, the right attitude, and put in the work towards a goal.

In 2010, I decided that I wanted to become a formal leader at work.  I set my mind that I would achieve that goal in one year and that I would make $100,000 per year.  My efforts saw me read every book I could find on leadership, I took all the in-house courses offered on leadership, and I reviewed and studied leader job descriptions at my company.  I asked people in current leadership positions what they thought it would take to become a leader.  I got myself a mentor and told her that my specific intention was to learn how to be a leader.  Almost exactly one year later I applied for a leadership position and I got it.  Shortly after that, I achieved my goal of making just over $100,000 per year.  Success.

I have always loved the Spanish language and wanted to learn it because in Canada we can easily travel to Mexico and South America where this language is spoken in a variety of dialects.  In February of 2012, I purchased Pimsleur Speak and Read Essential Spanish.  It was a 16-CD program with two 30-minute lessons on each CD. that taught you the basics.  You practice for no more than 30 minutes each day.  After the first day, I was shocked that I was actually speaking Spanish!  I could remember everything that I had learned and greedily gobbled up all the lessons over the next month!  Before I was finished, I had ordered the next level and then went onto EBay and found four more advanced versions.  Every single day without fail, as soon as I got home, I would take of my coat and then sit in my kitchen learning Spanish for 30 minutes before I did anything else.  When I had finished all of the programs, I transferred them to my iPod and I began listening and practicing on the bus during my morning and evening commute.  I know that I need to continue to advance; however, I am now very fluent in Spanish!  Success.

Quitting my job was not an easy decision to make (remember the $100,000+ per year earlier mentioned?).  I did this because the job was not in alignment with my life beliefs, my passions and my goals, and as a result it caused me excessive amounts of stress.  I no longer felt successful.  In fact, I felt like a failure.  I needed to do something that I felt would add value to the world and to my life.  This is why I write.  Currently, I am writing a novel with a key message that I feel needs to be heard.  I started this blog to allow me to express myself and to allow other people to check in and give their own opinions, beliefs and ideas about these topics.  I want to help people in a positive way to express themselves.  Pursuit of a worthy goal.  Success.

Think about your life.  What are the worthy goals that you would like to be successful at in each area?

  • Money and Career
  • Relationships
  • Spirituality
  • Health and Fitness
  • Communication
  • Talents
  • Hobbies

Make a plan of attack on how to reach that worthy goal.  Start taking the steps toward it.  Work hard every day and don’t give up.  This is Success.


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