How Changing my View of Success Enabled me to be Happier about My Life

Personal growth success and failure

It's perfectly natural to want more out of life, to desire more for yourself and your family, to aim higher than you have before because you know you can.

But it's all too easy to buy into a certain idea of what it means to be a Success in Life and go chasing after something that's completely unattainable. There's a lot of pressure to succeed, and if we aren't careful we can give in to that pressure to become something we aren't, and miss out on who we are really supposed to be.

Trying to Be Something I'm Not

In my experience, trying to be something you aren't is only going to make you unhappy.  Trying to wear someone else's shoes is only going to hurt.

I tried for a number of years to build a successful online business selling products. I studied internet marketers, their methods and tactics, and bought into their claims of big earnings and freedom lifestyle.

I spent a lot of time, and a lot of money, trying to become successful like they were, doing the same kind of thing they were doing, to build the same kind of business they had.

Needless to say, it didn't work out. Unhappy, I felt a failure because I couldn't make it happen, and it left me struggling to figure out why.

Yet at the same time, it was a great lesson to learn about life, success and failure. A lesson I am now able to use to my advantage.

I always teach that failure is a necessary by-product of success - you can't have one without the other, and failure can be a great teacher if we let it.  The trouble is that we often see success as a destination, somewhere to arrive at.  We draw a line in the sand, and the other side is success. Then we set our hearts on crossing that line, no matter what.

That kind of goal-oriented approach to success may be helpful for some, but I suggest it's a killer for most of us. There has to be a better way.

A Better Road to Travel

Instead of wasting all that time and effort chasing success, imagine instead that I'd spent a couple of weeks deciding what I really wanted to spend my time and energy doing over the next 2 to 3 years, what I wanted to achieve, and what was going to get me out of bed in the morning.

These are key questions that are going to place us in a winning position, but to answer them we need to start redefining Success.  And that means deciding what it takes to BE SUCCESSFUL now, and what we can do about that today.

Changing my view of success was crucial to changing how I approached each new day, how I planned my time, and how I progressed towards my dreams.  And the real key was deciding that Success is not a destination.

success failure personal growth

Life is short. The kids are growing up. I have wrinkles around my eyes, and much less hair on my head.  Time passes, and I can't afford to be waiting until I cross that line in the sand to be successful.  It has to start now.

The good news is that the immediate result of changing my view of success was something very real - Happiness!

You may think that happiness is not a good measure of success.  Maybe you would choose money, power or influence as a measure.  But as I said before, I can't wait around.  I want it now, and happiness is hugely important if we are to live out our lives in a bigger, fuller way.

Happiness will take us further when we hit setbacks. Happiness will mean we can more readily appreciate what we have, be more accepting of others, be more creative, and will enable us to go that extra mile.

Happiness will equip us to see things through and approach each new day with a positive mindset.

So time to ask some hard questions.  Remember, mistakes and failure can lead to us growing as a person.  Don't get hung up on yesterday.  You can make changes today that will impact the rest of your life.

  • Is your current view of success making you unhappy?
  • What changes would you need to see in your life to really feel happy?
  • What can you begin to do about it now?

As always, I'm here for you if you need to ask questions, or simply need someone to bounce ideas off.

To Living Forward.