“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.”

-Herman Melville

A seemingly simple question, but do you have an answer. If you do, is the answer really yours? Do own what that version of success looks like?

The trouble with success is that many of us end up defining it by other people’s standards. We let society condition us on what success is, what it looks like, what it should feel like. The truth is, a handed down version of success is never something that is likely to really feel successful for us at all.

To answer this question authentically, we first need to know:

· What it is, and who it is, we value most?

· Who it is we want to be in life (our best selves)?

· What values we want to live by?

· What kind of life we want for ourselves?

· How we want to feel when we see ourselves staring back in a mirror?

· What type of work makes us come alive?

· What type of experiences make us come alive?

· The type of people we want to surround ourselves with

· What do we really want to achieve in life (our inner most dreams)?

Success is not all about more money, more stuff, more status or more kudos. There are other meaningful metrics we can consider. There are other variables to take into account.

Only we can truly know what our version of successful looks like. Outside voices can influence our choices but we need to truly own our version of it.

When we own our brand of success, we can start to build a life around it and in it. We can live authentically. We can live the best version of our lives.

Set Your Compass

Make sure you’re building and supporting your own unique vision of what a great life is and are doing your best to make that your reality. Tiny and focused daily efforts towards your goals will get you closer to your vision of success. Use what helps along the way, but don’t get caught up in comparisons or in someone elses vision of what your life should look like.

Set your own compass for a destination you wish to reach. Live a life very much in line with your own rhythms and terms. Then you’ll be living a successful life.

Carl writes short books full of big ideas. He is also the proud owner of Frictionless Living which is focused on helping readers live simpler, finding focus and clarity in distracted times.