Success has a different definition for each person and at each different stage of life and state of mind. Defining success depends upon what we value the most at a given point of time. And, what we value depends upon where we are in the human needs pyramid. Therefore awareness about one's most important needs would be the first step in defining our success parameters and goals.
See? So simple? Its not luck that defines us, its us, we just need to know the rules!
You are capable of success in every area of your life. It's not about talent, circumstances, or luck. It's about learning and applying certain life skills and then monitoring your results and making little adjustments in your approach.
Is success in-born?
Setting goals is something we do naturally. The trouble is, most of us tend to do it almost unconsciously on autopilot mode, without taking the time to perfect the process. Then, when things don't turn out the way we had hoped we internalize our disappointment in a way that creates doubt in our own abilities.
Many people think that qualities like confidence, communication, creativity, motivation, focus, courage, and determination are something you are born with. But those qualities are learned life skills that anyone can master if they are willing to apply themselves. These are life skills and the better you become at them, the more successful your life will be.
When we were in school, much of what we learned was difficult to focus on because it had very little practical value. But the kind of life skills we are talking about here have enormous practical value, because they can literally transform the quality of your life. Its sad, that education systems invest such a lot of time and efforts in teaching students facts, and defining what is moral and immoral for the society, focussing no efforts on teaching essential life skills which would be easier to inculcate at a young age.
Habituation to Success!
But we need to also parallely decide the quality of our accomplishments. Achievement rarely produces the sense of lasting happiness that you think it will.
We long for new achievements because we quickly habituate to what we've already accomplished. This habituation to success is as inevitable as it is frustrating, and it's more powerful than you realize.
The fact is, today we have more food, cars, and clothes, better health, double the income, bigger houses, and more conveniences than we had 50 years ago. Yet, according to the World Database of Happiness, we have not become any happier. In fact, once a person has enough income to live on, additional wealth has little impact on happiness.
The key to beating habituation is to pursue, lasting accomplishments. Unlike run-of-the-mill accomplishments that produce an instant gratification, but are deflated soon after, the pleasure from lasting accomplishments lasts long after that initial buzz. They are so critical that they separate those who are successful and happy from those who are always left wanting for more.
Researchers have studied this phenomenon by interviewing and assessing people who had attained great success. The aim was to break down what these exceptional people did differently to achieve both long-lasting and fulfilling success.
People who are both successful and happy over the long term intentionally structure their activities around goals major areas:
They pursued activities that got tangible results.
They pursued activities that made a positive impact on the people who matter most.
They pursued activities through which they could pass their values and knowledge on to others.
Lasting fulfillment comes when you pursue activities that address all three of these needs. When any one of them is missing, you get a nagging sense that you should be doing more or something different.
Try them out and see what they do for you.