We often hear others describe their year as “a successful one.” This immediately begs the question as to the unit of measure they use to define success? My experience has been that most of us have varying ways in which we define achievements, and so two people with exactly the same outcome may interpret their results differently. One may deem their year as tremendously fruitful one while the other may say that they failed to meet their expectations.

In order to help achieve success, it is useful that we know how to define it. The act of defining our potentially desirable outcomes allows us to be able to break them down, plan, visualize and ultimately achieve our goals. It also may provide a quantifiable measure that is more objective so that we cannot exaggerate and also undermine our achievements. Many times, our perception tends to be impacted by our emotions and having a great map of qualitative or quantitative measurements allows us to stay honest.

I know the year is more than half-way gone, however, many of us are also re-emerging from the lockdown and well deserving of “another chance at this year.” I decided to compile a short list of various ways in which we can define success. You may use the ones that work for you and perhaps allow yourself to emerge as a winner by making 2021 one of your most successful years yet.

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Photo by social media agency, Amra & Elma
  1. Up to the challenge 

Since the better part of the last two years has served up nothing but curveballs, I think that one of the best measures of success is how well we deal with challenges. After all, if we can deal with a planet shutting down, everything else is easy, right? Coming through this challenge will arm us with the confidence to tackle everything that life and work can throw at us. But that doesn’t mean that we should be complacent. It is often useful to look back at the last few months, identify the challenges, and seeing how successful you were at dealing with them.  

2. What can we do

One of the best indicators that you are progressing in your career is to think of what you know now when compared to six months or a year ago. If you are increasing your skills and knowledge, you are building a successful career. If not, you may be a bit stagnant. It may even be time to study again part-time. Of course, this is not possible all the time, because sometimes we work on projects that are so important and time consuming that we don’t get time to acquire additional skills or knowledge sets. But at least be sure that at the end of a given time, you have something to show for the effort you put in.  

I also recommend following leadership focused social media influencers like @RayDalio whose account is dedicated towards shaping strategies for greater business success. He often shares practical advise about attitude and perspective that help shape our mindset and encourage us to pursue those opportunities that help us realize success.

3. Take a step back 

Think of the important people in your life, the ones whose opinion really matters to you. Think of how they would describe your performance for the past year. Would they consider it successful? Whether they would say yes or no, think of the reasons why. This imagined feedback will not only tell you whether you have been successful, but also what you can work on to be even more successful in the future.  

4. Did you enjoy it? 

Whatever we do in our professional or private lives, we should always strive to make it more enjoyable. That is surely one of the points of our lives. I strongly believe that an important measure of success is whether we are able to work towards continuously making our lives more pleasant. When we have this goal in mind, we will consistently make changes to all aspects of your life to achieve greater satisfaction.