Rule #4 Get Clear About What Success Means to You

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I believe strongly in taking the approach of “living your success”. One way of describing it is to know what success means to you – what you want most in life – and then to live in a way that moves you steadily toward achieving those goals.

Basically, it is about seeking to be more successful as a way of being so that your decisions, choices, actions, and responses are all automatically moving you toward success. When you live your success, you must be success; you must come from a position of knowing your success goals – what is most important to you – and being in alignment with the success you want such that your choices and actions are also in alignment. And that’s what rule #4 of my “14 rules of spiritual success” is all about.

Do you know what you want most in life? Have you ever stopped to think about it?

A related question is do you know your purpose in life? For some people who do know it, their purpose is that which drives them; it is what they want most to do or to accomplish in their life. I do know what my “purpose” is in this phase of my life – to learn to have success-oriented and wholeness-oriented mindsets and to share that knowledge with others. It is what I want most in life, but I prioritize being happy ahead of that. In actuality, my purpose fully supports my being happy.

The value of knowing your purpose in life is that it gives you an overarching meaning and direction for your life. It takes away uncertainty and the need to analyze and internally debate this choice or that choice in many cases. In other words, it simplifies life in certain ways.

But “success” covers a large spectrum of things that might be important to you. I encourage you to sit down with pencil and paper (or with a document on your laptop) and list out 5-10 things most important to you as your success goals.

Click on the link below to see a template to help you think about this by providing an example list of 14 general things that can be made specific, plus any number of other material/financial things such as: new car, debts paid off, new house, vacation in X country, etc. For myself, I tend to put “being” goals ahead of “having” goals, but that may because of achieving a level of sufficiency; whereas when I was much younger, I probably would have focused more on money and things.

GET MY FREE “DEFINING WHAT SUCCESS MEANS TO YOU” TEMPLATE

But identifying success goals that are personally important to you is an important exercise. For every goal you put on your list, you must answer why is it important to you. Asking why helps you see the real underlying reason, and that also will help you prioritize your goals. For example, nearly everyone will list more money as a success goal. But it’s not the money itself that is important, it is what money enables for you – financial security, paying bills, doing the things that money enables, having greater freedom, etc. For many people, having enough money is more important than having millions of dollars, because they know earning millions of dollars requires more effort in most cases.

Now it it’s very easy to list a large number of wants. But you really need to focus on the top 5 success goals. Five things you can think about fairly often and easily without referring to a written list. It’s much harder to remember a list of 10 things.

I also encourage people to put being happy at the top of your list. Your happiness is so important that you certainly should not sacrifice it to any large degree. Just ask anyone who is miserable in a job that has prestige and pays well. You can only live with your misery for so long before you will gladly give up the money and rank. Of course, many people live with being partly unhappy with certain aspects of life if that is balanced out by being happy with other aspects. For example, having time to do the things you love (playing golf, making music, reading good books, writing) is a great equalizer for most people.

One of the big goals for me over the years has been “peace of mind” which I think means not always looking for answers and things that will make me complete. It means having reached a state of “wholeness” and a knowing that I am good enough handle what life demands.

For some people, accomplishments are very important. That can take the form of raising children to be competent and happy people, or it might be writing a book, or creating a successful business. But accomplishments provide a powerful sense of fulfillment and having completed something in life. Achievement provides a sense of being worthy in both what you will have been able to do, as well as being of value and service to other people.

For the purpose of helping us know what is most important to us (and why) and the specific success goals that we want to work on in our life, we want to know those 5 things that are our primary focus for success. Those are the things we will think about, focus on, and take continuous or periodic actions on to move us toward the success we want to experience.

So I strongly encourage everyone reading this to take time to think about personal success goals, why they are important to you, and to both write them down someplace where you can find them and also commit them to memory so that you can rattle them off to yourself at any time. When you do, you will have accomplished the first step toward achieving your success.

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