I came across a quote from Maya Angelou about how she defined success. It was in an article that included the definition of success from millionaires and billionaires. People often equate success with money and power but these people didn’t.
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” -Maya Angelou
Seems simple enough, but many of us stumble on the first part about liking ourselves. My dad used to tell me to be your best friend. I never really got what he meant until later in life. If you don’t start with liking you, the rest will never fall into place. And if we always think money and power will make us happy, we’ll fall short there, too. We’ve all heard about people who made their wealth and had the power but ultimately weren’t happy.
So if the big professional title and the fancy car don’t define your success, you can create your own path with the Maya Angelou definition of success in mind. These 5 steps will help:
1) Define What Success Means to You
Keep it simple and start with you in mind. What do you want to accomplish? How will that make you feel? Use a few terms that resonate with you and not what friends or family think. You’re the only one who knows what’s happening on the inside so stay true to you.
2) Set Goals
The feeling of success comes from accomplishment. No matter the goal, set it. Write the goal down to make it real and then start chipping away at it.
3) Commit To Taking Action
Nothing happens over night. You have to do the work every day. I hear people all the time who want to accomplish something but when it comes to working toward achieving the goal, they don’t want to do the work. Commit to taking action.
4) Embrace Failure As The Greatest Teacher
Something didn’t work? Learn from it and move on. The best gift can be failure when you’re willing to learn from it.
5) Look Back Long Enough To See How Far You’ve Come
Keep your head in the past only long enough to see what you already accomplished. Don’t get caught up in what could be when you have your future waiting for you.
Liking yourself is an inside job and so is liking what you do. Design your goals around your definition of success and then start the work. You’ll start to uncover that the daily work is where the magic happens.
Now it’s your turn. How do you define success?