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How Do You Define Success?

When you hear the word success, what races through your mind? More than likely, there are a myriad of reflections, images, and ideas, which flood your thoughts. Some of you probably paused for a moment to consider what does the word truly mean. Success is one of those words that take on distinctive meanings. Simply put, we all view and measure success in our own way, so much so that we may even shift our beliefs about success during different seasons of our lives.

In January, I wrote about celebrating the small victories. During certain seasons of our lives, we have to celebrate the lessons and the small victories in order to see success. Interestingly enough, last week I was reading the book “100 Simple Secrets of Happy People,” by David Niven, Ph.D. He notes that his psychology professor told one of his classmates, “…for some people there are no victories, just alternate forms of losing.” His professor goes on to tell him and his classmates that much of life is a matter of perspective, and how we choose to look at things make the difference. The same holds true for success.

Align for success

Like many aspects of our lives, success can also be consistently cultivated. It is individually sought after and we must choose to align for success! Here is the thing; others can want you to be successful. People can cheerlead for you. They can advocate for you, but if you have not decided that you are going to pursue it for yourself, then outside influence will not catapult you to your desired goals. You have to take steps daily to align yourself, stay intentional with your actions, and celebrate your progress. Here are some stepping-stones, which has proven to successfully align my journey.

Aligning goals with purpose makes them more meaningful. Ask yourself:

  • What steps can I take immediately that will align me with my purpose?

  • By aligning with my purpose, I am committing to what?

Redefine success

Society can define success based on the superficial: defining it solely on the bases of what can be acquired, highest salary range, or even title/position. If success is defined based on these criterions, then the chase will always be to gain more, only to spend more. It is acceptable and good business practice to set financial milestones. Additionally, there is nothing wrong with rewarding yourself after you have reached those milestones. However, when the only motivator is financial it could lead to feeling defeated or empty.

Personally, I chased the “dream.” I defined success based on my ability to move up every couple of years, increasing both my position and salary. The challenge came when I was unable to move fast enough, I internalized it as something that was insufficient about me and immediately began to question, what is wrong with me and how can I reposition myself differently to be successful. Over time, I learned a valuable lesson: every environment is not created for me to thrive in, however, I can succeed in every environment I am in.

Redefine success milestones by incorporating other markers for success. Ask yourself:

  • Aside from financial milestones, I feel successful when…?

  • What aspects of your life can you reclaim by redefining success?

Grow toward success

If you can define success, you can also choose how to measure it. We have established that success does not have to be measured by societal norms but should be measured by what aligns you with your purpose. Based on the reflections above, identify a new goal that you would like to incorporate into the month (or longer) that will allow you to, not only feel successful, but also be successful.

Grow by aligning your goals, redefining success, growing towards your purpose. Ask yourself:

  • What about this goal truly resonates with me?

  • If I were to accomplish this goal, how could I assist others around me?

I define and measure success differently these days. I let go of chasing the corporate dream. Realizing that my purpose was not to climb someone’s ladder but to build my own. Now, I am able to assist others with breaking barriers and accomplishing their dreams. For me, success is making a positive impact on the lives of others daily and is measured by the deeper connections I am able to build. How do you define success? Let us know in the comment section below.

Consistently cultivating,

Angela Garmon

Align | Redefine | Grow

At ARG Coaching & Consulting Group, we enable our clients to align their goals with their purpose, redefine themselves by identifying unique characteristics that set them apart and grow by establishing reachable goals. If you would like to learn more about our personal development or executive coaching options, connect with us to today at (480) 442-9841 or email us at

Consistently cultivating better YOU!

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