John Marshall Blog

blog image

How will you know when you have achieved success? 

January 18, 20234 min read

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill 

How do you define success? Are you living a successful life? What would it take for you to achieve success? Realize your dreams? What does it mean to make it big? Or, how would you know when you have achieved success? 

A client recently shared his internal conflict of not feeling very successful. At some point in life, we are all prone to this kind of anxiety, feeling like we are not successful. The irony of this specific coaching session is that my client had enjoyed a remarkable career that spanned two decades with a series of awards, promotions, and certifications. In addition to an incredibly successful career, he recently started his journey as an entrepreneur.

We live in a society that keeps us groping for more; it is generally perceived that to do a lot, we must earn a lot, read a lot, own a lot, and travel a lot. This is supposed to make us feel successful. But why do we think something still needs to be added even after achieving this? This continuous search for success keeps most people on the hamster wheel of life, running faster and faster but never getting closer.

Even when you do achieve what we define as success, we feel that they are not enough; we want something better and more significant. And the search goes on. We're stuck in a whirlwind and a state of disappointment, having acquired what we thought would make us successful but feeling more depleted and unfulfilled than ever before. 

For my client, the anxiety and self-doubt resulted from comparing himself to a colleague that had a similar career. This colleague had a fleet of luxury cars, traveled to exotic locations, and dressed in branded wear. My client's lifestyle was the opposite, as those things had no lasting value to him. He started a business to enjoy the flexibility and spend more time with his family.

But when he started comparing his life to his colleague's lifestyle, he started assuming that their lifestyle was the definition of real success. This caused a series of self-inflicted anxiety and unhappiness. Comparing your life with someone with entirely different values will always make you feel like a failure. However, once you learn to base your success on your values, you will be able to recognize what true success is.  

One of the critical steps to achieving success is understanding what personal success means—so going back to the question at the onset of the post. What is success? You will need help to answer this question. The only person that can answer the question is you. We all define success in different ways based on our values and principles.

If you don't do this, you may be pursuing someone else's definition of success. Of course, it is not out of place to value the opinions of others, but that doesn't mean you should necessarily adopt them as your own. No one can tell you what it means to live a good life or impose their version of success on you. Trying to follow up on another person's definition of success may lead to unhappiness and frustration.  

It is essential to align your goals and desires based on what you want and not what someone wants. For some people, success is doing things to help others, while others realize that building a business or product brings them happiness. The simple but profound truth is that what makes you happy does not necessarily make someone else happy and vice versa.

What I perceive as success looks different from yours, and that's how it should be. It is equally important to realize that you are successful in some ways already. You will be happy if you assume you are a failure once you achieve a particular milestone. The path to success begins by identifying what makes you happy.  

Ask yourself: 

  1. In what areas have I achieved success in my life? 

  2. What can I do to build on that success? 

  3. What lessons have I learned from these milestones?  

  4. What matters the most to me? 

  5. What lifestyle do I want to achieve? 

  6. Who do I want to be? 

Success is both a journey and a goal. Once you reach a particular milestone, you don't stop but keep striving to be better. However, it is critical to assess where you are right now before you can begin moving forward. This is a time to evaluate yourself honestly. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Where are you currently successful? What areas of your life need improvement?

The next step is to set specific goals that must be achievable and, at the same time, challenging. These goals must also be measurable and realistic. Someone else will do it for you if you don't define success. Refrain from letting society determine what success is for you. Now is the time to start on the right path. You are unique; embrace it and stay true to yourself. You will already have made it big. 

blog author image

John Marshall

John Marshall Training will assist you to: Gain Clarity of Purpose… Strengthen Your Leadership Capability… Achieve Health and Fitness… Embrace Change… Ignite Passion… John Marshall training was Founded by John Marshall, a Canadian international entrepreneur (now Managing Director) incarcerated in the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons, who sought a permanent change to his own life and past behavioral patterns so that he could begin repairing the damage he had caused. To achieve this change, John Marshall recognized the need to undertake a powerful journey of personal transformation. From the onset of John’s transformative journey, he realized that an integral part of his own healing was to help facilitate change in others who needed it. In response to this calling, John created “Paradigm Thinking”, a transformational training/coaching program that 100’s of men have participated in. Now, Peak Performance Coaching is the byproduct of John’s ongoing journey with God and his own mission to facilitate change in others. Finally, after 6 years in prison and life coaching, mentoring and pastoring 100’s men over 1000’s of hours, John is ready to share this experience on a larger scale, with you.

Back to Blog

Copyright 2022 . All rights reserved