It’s no secret that everyone has a slightly different definition of what success is supposed to look like. Some people define success as having lots of money in the bank and being able to buy a big house and take vacations at a moment’s notice. Some people define success as having a big and loving family that is always there to support them. Some people define success as waking up in the morning and being able to live another day. And some people have no idea what their definition of success looks like.
If you are struggling to figure out how you define success, or if you are looking to find some success in your life but don’t really know what that means to you, I know how you feel. I spent years defining success as being rich, so I worked for years at a job I hated only to feel really unsuccessful in life because I was so miserable.
It wasn’t until I started paying attention to successful people and how they approached success that I branched out into writing – which I love to do – and started to develop my own definition of success. Following are some quotes from successful people that talk about success and the path to it. These people may help you figure out what success really means to you, but if they don’t, keep listening to the people who know what their definition of success is to help you figure out what yours is.
1. Happiness Doesn’t Follow Success
“Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.” – Dale Carnegie
A lot of people think that happy people are successful people. In other words, they think that when you become successful, you automatically become happy. But this isn’t true.
Success is defined as accomplishing an aim or goal you have. It’s about achieving something that you want. As anyone who has achieved a goal knows, happiness and success are not only not the same thing. They just don’t always go together. If you are not happy when you achieve success, then you won’t be happy because of it because happiness comes from within.
A friend of mine worked at a hospital for years that was located downtown in his city. They regularly had homeless people come in for shelter and to get medical care from the emergency room. He said that contrary to belief, a lot of the homeless people were not miserable. Yes, some were. But there were also some who were happy despite their situation. They would laugh and make jokes. They felt good about themselves. He said their happiness compared to the staff he was surrounded by, including very successful doctors, was evident.
You can have a successful career or family but not be happy. It doesn’t mean you are not a success. It just means you are not happy.
I know a lot of people are not happy right now. If you believe you are not successful because you have not found happiness yet, don’t set more goals to try and find happiness. Work on finding happiness where you are now. I guarantee that once you find happiness, you will start to see more success in your life everywhere.
2. Success Happens Right Now
“Success is simple. Do what’s right, the right way, at the right time.” – Arnold H. Glasow
Everything you do right now leads to your success. In fact, if you are taking daily action on your goals, I would go further and say that everything you do right now is a success. Every action you take is a small step towards the life you want.
This quote makes success seem really simple. All you have to do is do what’s right and do it in the right way and time. While that may seem complicated, it is much easier than it sounds. All you have to do is start being present and following your inner guidance. That’s where all the right answers are. I have always found that doing what you ‘know’ is in line with what you want will help you get to your success faster than doing what you think you should do or what you have been told to do by someone else. The right choice is always clear when you pay attention to your inner truth. And, the best outcomes, both failures, and successes, come from being true to who you are.
The trick is to start being more present in your life. Stop living in the past or the future and start focusing on this moment and the task at hand. You can’t listen to your inner self unless you are fully present. So stop stressing out about the success that seems far away, and pay attention to what you are being told to do at this moment. Then do it!
3. Success Comes To Those Who Enjoy What They Are Doing
“I’m doing what I enjoy doing.” – Stan Lee when asked how he keeps the successful creative juices flowing over the years
There is no doubt that Stan Lee is a success. And there is no doubt that he has always enjoyed what he’s been doing. This is such a simple thought, yet so true. If you enjoy what you are doing, you are already successful. But doing something that you enjoy is a dream that most people don’t ever get to live.
How many happy and successful people have you met who don’t enjoy what they are doing? They can’t just be successful; they have to be really happy too! The chances are good that you haven’t met any.
When you are doing what you enjoy doing, you can get into the flow of life. You can do what needs to be done. You can push yourself. You can tackle obstacles that come your way with creativity. And you have fun every step of the way. When you start to see your accomplishments come to life in this state, you get excited and start working towards even more accomplishments, despite your age (think Stan Lee, Betty White, or Hugh Hefner), how much you’ve already done, or any other thing that other people might consider a barrier to more success. That is definitely how I would define success.
4. Success Is A Mindset
“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
This is just one more reason to do what you enjoy doing. Success is a mindset. Two people can be on the exact same path and not feel the same way about it. One can start to feel more like a failure every time something bad happens while the other one can start to feel more like a success. It’s all about perception and understanding that everything that happens, good or bad, can push you towards what you want.
In other words, if you can move from one failure to the next and still be excited about where you want to go and the journey you are taking to get there, then you are experiencing success right now. You are learning, growing, and moving in the direction you want to go, no matter how many setbacks you have.
Moreover, when you can keep going with optimism and your head held high, then you are going to actually reach different levels of success that you couldn’t reach if you were to lose that successful mindset that is the driving force behind you moving forward.
The problem is that many people develop a pessimistic mindset in life that holds them back from success. They want the wealth, health, and abundance, but they don’t think they are capable of getting it or they talk to themselves negatively, or they let every failure drive them deeper into a pit of despair. They do not see themselves as successful, and therefore they are not successful and never will be until their mindset changes, and they are able to do what they need to do.
Optimistic people already see themselves as successful and are much more likely to reach the success they desire. Their mindset keeps the moving forward despite failures. They feel the hope, have faith and keep moving in times of stress. In fact, they go to bed feeling successful because they have done what they could do in the day to move closer to their goals.
Take a look at your mindset and how it is affecting your ability to reach success. I guarantee that once you have a positive attitude towards yourself and your success, then you will clearly see how beneficial it is and also define success as stemming from a positive mindset.
5. Success Is Built On Words
“You are planting seeds when you talk. At some point, you’re going to eat that fruit.” – Joel Osteen
The power of words is real. They impact your life in a big way. I know that Joel Osteen wrote a book called The Power of I Am. I keep meaning to read that, but I think his point is that the way you talk to yourself impacts your life.
The way you talk to yourself is dictating what you are going to feel, think, and do tomorrow. The way you talk to others dictates what they will feel about you, think about you, and do for you tomorrow. As Joel Osteen implied, it may not be tomorrow, but what you say today is going to come into your life at some point. You will have to eat that full grown fruit that grew from the seeds you planted.
If you want to be successful, then you have to plant the right seeds. You have to talk in a way that encourages what you want to come into your life. You have to talk about what you want, how you are going to get there, and how possible it is. You can’t be negative and plant seeds of doom and gloom, because that is what will grow from your words. Success grows from faith, optimism, enthusiasm, and passion. Your words should be in vibration with those things in order to bring success about.
If you really want to get more insight into the power of words, I suggest you read Power Words by Sharon Anne Klingler. In her book, she talks about how certain words have the power to lift your energy and stimulate different responses in you that could help you be more successful. I highly suggest learning about those words and the impact they can have on your life and your success.
6. Success Is Not A Position In Life
“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” – Booker T. Washington
A lazy person can win the lottery and become a millionaire who has influence, but that doesn’t make him or her successful. Money and success do not go hand-in-hand. Inheriting an abundant life does not make you successful either. Success comes from within, and you build it brick by brick by the actions you take and the experiences you have.
The really successful people are the people who overcame obstacles to achieve the things they wanted most in life. They have learned the lessons along the way, worked hard to get where they are, and achieved the victories that they set out to achieve. They are in a place where they are never going to lose what they have because they have created the blueprint to help them always find their way back in times of struggle.
If you are struggling with life, don’t write yourself off as if you are not successful or will never be. Struggle is what leads to success. It’s what helps you create your own success blueprint.
When you are willingly trying to work through your issues and find your way, you are breaking yourself free from the life you are living now. On the other hand, when you lay down and let life happen to you, you may not struggle so much, but you are also not working towards a life that is different than where you are.
It’s also important to not compare yourself with other people. They may look as if they are successful and have not had to face a lot of struggles in their life, but you don’t know what they have really been through or what they really think. Most people are not going to show you the real struggles they faced. Many of them want you to believe that they are superheroes who easily got to where they are. That’s simply not possible. True success always comes from work and struggle.