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10 Definitions Of Success – How To Be Successful!

10 Definitions Of Success – How To Be Successful!

We often hear the word success, at which point we immediately think of the things we’d like to do and the money we’d love to have. We objectify “success” as a resounding proclamation of human achievement – a triumphant peak in the dynamics of personal fulfillment.

However, if your reading this article, then chances are you probably know it as an ideal reality hovering beyond reach. So how, then, do we reach it?

The bottom line is this: there are a lot of “successful” people in the world, but there are far more unsuccessful people. If you want to become one of the few who achieves success, then you must first understand the true scope of the definition.

So what exactly is success?

1. Success is Creating the Life You Want to Live

“Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”  – Lolly Daskal

No one’s life is predetermined, nor is their ability to succeed. You forge the pathway to your own success. We habitually make the mistake of identifying ourselves according to our given circumstances, making the assumption that these circumstances will determine where we end up in life. They do not. They merely determine where we start. While some may appear to have an easier run than others, we are all fundamentally the creators of our own destiny. Thus, that for which we are prepared to settle as opposed to that which we are willing to cultivate, will dictate who we are and what we are capable of achieving. The choice is yours.

2. Success is Getting Stuff Done


“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Roosevelt summed it up in a nutshell. If your not kicking goals on a regular basis, then you’re not on the road to success. You’re just standing on the side of the road, hitchhiking. Bad news: you have to walk. 
There is nothing more gratifying than the sense of accomplishment that comes from being at the peak of one’s professional existence, for that is true satisfaction. So make it happen.

3. Success is Dedication to One’s Work

“Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence.” – Collin Powell.

“Success” as you know it, will not come without your adamant and uncompromising persistence. It is the product of many sleepless nights and the consequential outcome of the hours in which we push ourselves to the edge of intellectual fatigue, sometimes with the assistance of coffee, but always with the power of an unbreakable will.

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4. Success Is Doing What You Love And Being Your Own Person

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”  – Walt Disney

Everyone has a passion…don’t be afraid to fight for it. Find out what it is you love. Discover your instinctual expertise and understand your natural strengths and inclinations. Learn what you have that makes you unique, and then it’s just a matter of packaging and communicating that uniqueness to the unsuspecting world. Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you love.

5. Success is Publicity

“All publicity is good, except an obituary notice.” – Brendan Behan

There is a saying: “no publicity is bad publicity.” In my books that saying reads true. When you invest in publicity, you invest in the opportunity to share your personal expertise with the world around you and effectively open up the lines of communication. If you can bring your own unique potential to the forefront of your life, then public recognition will only do you good.

6. Success is Action

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” – Pablo Picasso

If you spend too much time thinking about something, you will never get it done. The power of imaginative speculation and desire is a great starting point, but only action will allow you to fulfill your idealized potential. Don’t wait for things to happen. If good things come to those who wait, then better things come to those who take the initiative and go out and make it happen.

7. Success is Financial Freedom

“When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.” – Oscar Wilde

Happiness can’t be purchased … but a comfortable lifestyle can, and that’s pretty close. No one likes being a slave to debt and financial obligation, yet many find that to be case. In the words of Kim Garst: “Stop giving away your time and talents. Value what you know, and start charging for it.” The moment you start making a profit doing what you love, is the moment you know you have achieved success.

8. Success is Reaching the Highest Step


“The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity.” – Ayn Rand

Life is a staircase. You have to move from one tedious step to the next, over and over again, in order to eventually reach to the top. You’ll encounter a few stumbles along the way. You’ll also find that the steps at the bottom are very steep and difficult to climb, but as you near the top, they become smaller and closer together. As you’re climbing, it’s important to remember that each new step will take you closer to the point of self actualization, so don’t give up.

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9. Success is Looking Beyond Failure


”Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

Don’t give up. It’s an epic cliche, but perhaps one that resonates with the most importance. If your willing to pursue your passions then sometimes you have to be prepared to take criticism with a smile on your face. You must be ready to accept the fact that not everything you do will result in triumph, and not everything you contribute will necessarily be valued by others. People will tell you to stop, and others will simply laugh.

Redirect the negative energy of your frustration and turn it into a positive, effective and unstoppable determination and then see who’s laughing in a few years time.

10. Success is Living In The Now

“The future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow.”

As you read these words, someone half your age with twice your energy and determination is working their backside off, so that they can live the life you dream of. So stop dreaming and start living. Turn your dreams into a tangible reality by taking action. We are all creatures of habit, and procrastination is by far the hardest habit to break.
So get up off your butt, right now, and do some work.

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Now.

Featured photo credit: home office workstation office business notebook via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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