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What Does Success Mean To You?

By Ezinne Allen-Obayagbona 26 December 2017   |   5:00 am

So many times, we see several celebrities and accomplished individuals on the internet or television and we say to ourselves that they have been successful in their chosen career. To some people, this inspires them to make some life-changing decisions. To others, it eats deep into them and they begin to question their entire life decisions.

At what point can one really say that they are successful? This is a question that bothers many of us. Is it right to say that a person is successful only after they’ve been given multiple awards and recognition?

It’s already the holiday season and it’s that time of the year when some of us might have the feeling that we’ve not been successful in various aspects of our lives. However, the important question we should ask ourselves is what exactly success means.

Around this time, people are more interested in making New Year resolutions, but more often than not, these come to an end by mid-January.

Instead of the common New Year resolutions that have become a tradition for many, wouldn’t it be better to look at things from a different perspective? More so, in a positive way.

Most people are so quick to question their progress, especially because they are comparing their lives to celebrities and who upon investigation, spend so much time and years building their craft. Success really doesn’t happen in a day. It takes time, dedication and the mindset to determine what exactly success means.

Are you so interested in being listed on Guinness World Records or Wikipedia before you deem yourself successful? Or are you waiting to be celebrated by colleagues in the same industry as yours before you believe that you’ve been successful this year?

From the dictionary, success has mainly two definitions: the accomplishment of an aim or purpose and the attainment of popularity or profit. Success is what you make of it especially when you set SMART goals based on what you desire. It’s entirely a personal decision to choose how you may rather view success.

Take the initiative to make your goals specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and have a time limit (SMART). Accomplishing such goal will give you a sense of pride and fulfilment which will ultimately make you feel successful. If you are able to take baby steps to reach a goal, it’s worth everything since it will lead to the ultimate realisation of your goals, hence making you a successful person.

Seeing success in a different limelight will definitely determine how positive your life will be and create a shift in your thinking. It will be of more importance to list realistic goals you can work towards achieving and this will be a way of determining your success instead of comparing your life to that of a total stranger.

Being like someone others may deem ‘successful’ doesn’t necessarily make you one. After all, no one has the right to impose their version of success on you. So if possible, write out your goals for 2018 and hang it somewhere conspicuous. It’s important that we define success and take no heed of external validations whatsoever.

In the meantime, look back at the year 2017. What ‘little’ goals were you able to accomplish. Do you think you were successful?