Recently, at my advanced Toastmaster’s club, a gentleman had a 45-minute speech on “What is success and how does one go about finding it”?. This was a couple of days after posting an article by Mark Mason to my private group, The Action Suite Lounge, on the same subject. Therefore, how do we go about defining success?
Success is defined as, “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose,” along with, “the attainment of popularity or profit.” However, this goes against some of the most successful leaders of the world and what they think success is.
Founder of the Virgin Group, Richard Branson wrote: “in my opinion, true success should be measured by how happy you are.” Whereas, Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the Huffington Post stated: “Success consists of four pillars: well-being, wisdom, wonder, and giving.”
“I measure success by how many people love me.” Is how Warren Buffet measures success, while Bill Gates expounds: “Success is the feeling you get from making a difference.”
It was very interesting to note that the responses that I got from my group. One person stated that they had thought that success meant living in a big house, having a healthy bank balance and living a life of leisure, but that was in his twenties. Now he feels that success comes from the center of his being; doing something nice for someone, being comfortable and living day to day and appreciate every day as it comes. Another person stated that living a balanced work/life career was the essence of success for them.
For myself, I measure success, by how successful my clients are. When I see my clients take the techniques, the knowledge, and the know-how and apply it to their business and have their business increase exponentially over a short period of time, I feel successful. It’s not the money, the big house or the fast cars.
There are over 740,000,000 articles on ‘steps for success’ on Google. There are many lists provided such as; Seven Steps for Success, or 20 Essential Steps for Success and Ten Steps to Achieve Success.
I am so confused; how many steps are there to actually achieve success? Why is there so many, or a few steps to reach something that has a defined definition? Why are the definitions provided by Gates, Branson, and Huffington, not in any of these lists? How is it that as people age, their definition of success changes? Is it because the definition of success is personal, therefore, the definition is different for everyone?
Speaking to the last question, I would say a resounding, yes. There is no doubt that in order to be successful you must take risks, get outside of your comfort zone, have courage in your convictions, know what you are going for, handle failures, among many others.
However, there is one absolute truth about being successful and that is, in order to achieve any degree of success there must be action. There is no denying that without action, there is no success.
This is why I have such a negative reaction to the quote by Napoleon Hill which is spewed by every self-help guru that goes: “What the mind can conceive, the body shall achieve.” Really? How? Unless I put into action what my mind conceived nothing will happen. If nothing happens, there is no success.
Therefore, the questions that need to be asked are, how do you measure your success, and what are you doing to achieve it?