I’ve been studying the science of success for over a decade now, and in my research and my experience as a Success Mentor For Moms that the most common mistake people make when setting goals, New Year’s resolutions, or daily to-do lists, is this: not yet knowing what success means to you.
And I’ve been there. At first, I thought success was defined by my Grade Point Average or the number of figures on my paycheck. Then I thought my success was defined by how happy my spouse was or how perfectly together I seemed to have it as a mom. Although these are both related to my definition of success, they were not accurate, and the thing with success is that you cannot find it, you cannot create it, until you define it.
The first step to success, then, is to clearly define what success means to you. Your definiton of success will be as unique as your thumbprint, because although it is true that we are all interconnected, each of us has a unique purpose on Earth.
And maybe you are thinking defining success sounds extremely difficult, or perhaps you don’t know where to start. Many times, we get paralyzed by the pressure or feel like we’re not good enough because “we should be able to figure this out.” As it turns out, defining what success means to you is not a simple, easy, effortless process; it requires time, energy, and effort, and those who are willing to invest those resources into their success quest, automatically increase their odds to find it.
Defining your success starts with getting clear about what you want out of life. I will dare say that the number one enemy of success is lack of clarity. I’ve lived most of my life now pursuing “dreams” and “goals” that were not mine, but someone else’s idea of what success would look like to me. When I got clear about my Top 5 Passions, when I made my vision plain and I wrote it down, then I started experiencing success in my life at a fulfilling level. And I found out that success isn’t hard anymore, because its fruits exceed my investment.
I experience success and feel successful when I know I am giving attention to those priorities, when I am investing in all of them, rather than “succeeding” in one area (achieving), at the expense of the others.
To get clear about what success looks like to you, first think of the areas of life that most matter.
- What are your aspirations in the financial aspect?
- What do you yearn for when it comes to the time you want to be able to devote to your family?
- What do you desire as far as your health, your appearance, and self-care?
- What do you crave to experience in your relationships?
- What do you dream when it comes to your own progress, spiritual expansion, and personal growth?
- What do you want to make a difference, leave your mark on this planet?
- What do you wish you could do for the sake of fun, adventure, and excitement in your life?
The answer to these questions are crucial to answering the most important question you will ever ask yourself: WHAT DO I WANT?
And, yeah, many of us think we know what we want, but it isn’t until we dig deeply in self-discovery that we find that, most of the time, we end up settling for what others want for us, what others think we should do, what we think others expect of us, or what we think we can actually have (because may not really deserve what we truly want).
We all fell in love with Ryan Goslin AKA Noah Calhoun in Nicholas Sparks’ novel The Notebook. One of my favorite moments (besides the epic lakeside kiss under the falling rain) was when he said to Allie:
“Would you stop thinking about what everyone wants? Stop thinking about what I want, what he wants, what your parents want. What do you want?!”
Have you ever ignored your soul’s desire because of fear that you would disappoint a person or some of the people you love? I have – and I learned not to do it again. The people in my life are unable to understand or even see my vision because it was given to me, not to them. It’s not my job to make them see my vision, but to fulfill my purpose.
The answer to the question “what do I want?” may not come easy to you. It sometimes takes several sessions with some of the moms I mentor to get clear about the life they deeply wish to create. You are not alone in your quest, your impatience, or your frustration. It’s all part of the process… and in my many years of helping moms create positive transformation in their lives and their families, I have confirmed it is worth it.
If you really want success, then you must get clear, and if you must get clear, then you must start to use your imagination. Einstein once said that “imagination is more important that knowledge,” because success starts with ideas that may seem impossible, irrational, and wild.
I love John F. Kennedy’s speech declaring the seemingly unattainable, unimaginable goal:
“We shall send to the moon, 240,000 miles away from the control station in Houston, a giant rocket more than 300 feet tall, the length of this football field, made of new metal alloys, some of which have not yet been invented, capable of standing heat and stresses several times more than have ever been experienced, fitted together with a precision better than the finest watch, carrying all the equipment needed for propulsion, guidance, control, communications, food and survival, on an untried mission, to an unknown celestial body, and then return it safely to earth, re-entering the atmosphere at speeds of over 25,000 miles per hour, causing heat about half that of the temperature of the sun — almost as hot as it is here today — and do all this, and do it right, and do it first before this decade is out — then we must be bold.”
What do we learn from this man’s vision? I am impressed at the level of specificity of this goal – it was clear, detailed and measurable.
There are concrete laws that govern success, and one of them is the Law of Specificity, which states that without a clear definition of what you want to achieve, there is no way to achieve it. As they say, the best way to predict the future is to create it.
If you are ready to make the rest of your life the best of your life, then you must clearly identify what your best life looks like. Once you know how glorious your best self is, you will stop settling for less, and you will pursue the grand destiny God has in store for you.
If you want to create your very own Success Blueprint, so you can live I would love to support you in the process, and provide you with tools, strategies, and resources to accelerate your success. If you’re ready to take your life to a higher level, schedule a mentoring session with me today.
What does SUCCESS mean to you? Define success on your own terms so you can achieve it.