Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
CAREER ADVANCEMENT / NOV. 06, 2015
version 12, draft 12

How Is Success Measured?

Anne Hathaway
shutterstock

When you think of success, what comes to mind? Do you think about your career? Your high school track medals? Your child’s impressive report card? The truth is, success can be measured throughout all aspects of life, so what does it mean?

See Also: 10 Definitions of Success You Should Never Forget

Put simply, when you’re successful, it means that you have accomplished or achieved a desired goal or purpose. Makes sense, right? Although success first appears to be fairly black and white, there’s a large gray area that is rather subjective. What you view as success may differ from your friend or co-worker’s perspective, so how do you measure it?

Can Success Be Measured?

For some, success will mean that they have plenty of money in the bank and that they feel as though they possess some level of power. For others, success can be as simple as learning a new skill or finishing a project that’s been long overdue; and in that sense, yes, success can most certainly be measured.

How exactly it is measured is an entirely different story. Before you can measure success, you need to understand the importance of your goals and how your personal journey reflects how successful you are. You also need to believe in yourself, truly grasping when you have gone above and beyond, achieving something that you should be proud of.

Think about your life, what have you achieved so far? Heck, what have you achieved today? Perhaps you’ve been striving to gain five new Twitter followers for your business each day. Did you hit your target yesterday? If so, you were successful. When you think about measuring success, ask yourself these questions, allowing you to reflect on your personal success and how you can possibly improve your circumstances.

Do You Love What You Do?

Having a true passion for your career is something that so many strive for. When you go into work, how do you feel? Everyone has good and bad days, but overall, how do you view your career and the time in which you contribute to your position? Now, let’s take a second to focus on two possible scenarios:

Scenario One: A 56-year-old man makes over $200,000 annually as a corporate lawyer. Due to his work schedule, his marriage fell apart and his children now live with his ex-wife. He drinks often to cope with the stress of his career and is currently seeing a physician in order to target symptoms of depression.

Scenario Two: A 47-year-old woman attended college and opened her own yoga studio. She makes enough to pay her bills, take her children on an annual holiday, and save a little each month for her retirement. Although she makes $53,000 a year, she has everything she needs and loves going to work each day.

Now, when you first began thinking about what success means to you, did financial stability pop into your head? In our minds, money and success tend to go hand-in-hand. However, if you take into consideration the gentleman in scenario one, do you think he views his day-to-day life as a successful and fulfilling venture? Money doesn’t make people happy and it is not necessarily a measure of success. And this is obvious from the two scenarios above. After reading both of them, we are all bound to think that the lady in the second scenario has definitely done better for herself.

What Are Your Top Priorities in Life?

Pinpointing your top priorities in life will help you measure various levels and degrees of success. If I were to choose my top three priorities, I would have to say that at this time in my life, they would be my family, career, and health. When I reflect on those three priorities, I feel extremely grateful, proud, and successful. I have a beautiful, loving family, a career I adore, and my health couldn’t be better (knock wood).

When I select my personal priorities, it’s a reflection on my life at this point in time. This is important to remember, as my priorities will most certainly change and perhaps become more specific as time passes. If I were to ask a friend or even someone on the street, their priorities would more than likely differ from mine. Does that make them any less successful? Absolutely not. To them, their priorities may be their children and losing weight. Every single time their children make them proud and they lose one more pound, they’re successful. Success is different from person to person because we are all different.

If you feel as though your top priorities leave more to be desired, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re unsuccessful, it just means that your goals may need to be adjusted. If you have been trying to lose weight and aren’t seeing results, then your methods are unsuccessful, not you. It may be time to take a new approach so that you can reach your goals and feel that sense of accomplishment. Anything is possible and we can all strive towards our personal priorities, boosting feelings of success each and every day.

Do You Feel Successful?

At the end of the day, success is not black and white. Perhaps your mom never understood why you left law in order to become a teacher or to open your own restaurant. Sure, you may make less in these careers in comparison to what you would’ve made as a big shot lawyer, but your chosen path is what makes you feel accomplished and fulfilled.

If you ask yourself this question and your answer is yes, then you are successful. Feeling as though you’re accomplishing your goals and living the life you desire, showcases personal success. If you ask yourself this question and the answer is no, how did you come to that conclusion? What is it that you feel is lacking?

For a second, don’t focus on what you haven’t achieved, but on what you have. Perhaps you raised your children and now that they’re off to school and you feel as though you never accomplished your career goals. I think raising children, encouraging them to build a successful life of their own is most certainly an accomplishment. Now that you have achieved that, it’s time to focus on you.

What was it that you wanted to achieve within your career? Take the appropriate steps to fill that gray area. If you always wanted to own your own business, there’s no better time than now. There are so many resources and tools available. As long as you’re willing to work towards this goal, you’d be surprised at what you can accomplish. Remember, it’s not always about the things you don’t accomplish in your life, but more about what you do accomplish.

See Also: The Top 10 Most Important Things in Life 

If you feel as though you’re not successful because you don’t make as much money as you’d like, think again. There are so many things we achieve on a daily basis that deserve your personal recognition. Running an extra mile, feeling good about helping the homeless, or overcoming an illness, make you extremely successful. Success is not always about being dressed in a suit and tie. It comes from within and if you put your mind to your personal goals, nothing can stop you.

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