How to Define Success in Life

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Last week I talked about the secret to a successful life and I used the Disney animated film Frozen 2 to learn the lesson, but per usual I have more to say on this subject, so I wanted to keep going. 

So, the secret as found in Frozen 2 is “Do the Next Right Thing”, so any time in life you’re stuck or don’t know what you should do, all you need to do is take the next right step. You don’t have to have all of life figured out before you step forward. You don’t have to have all your ducks in a row before you start your business and you don’t have to have all your entire trip planned when you book your flight. You simply need to take the next right step, and then the next right step and at any point, you feel like you’ve taken the wrong step, you stop, pivot and take the next step. 

And at the end of your life, as long as you’ve taken more right steps than wrong steps, then you can count your life a success, but here’s the thing, I never talked about what the word success really means. 

What makes a person successful? I mean, just making the right steps doesn’t really tell you much about what you’re doing or where you’re going. Most of the time we define success as lots of money, a big house, vacations, and nice cars, but success is much simpler than that.

Earl Nightingale in the Strangest Secret defines success as the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. 

Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.

That’s a little old in its verbiage, but basically it means if you’re working toward a worthy idea for yourself, then you’re successful. So, if you say you’re going to do or become something and you began to work toward it you’re already successful. Failure, if there really is such a thing, is when you stop progressing. 

Who are some successful people?

A successful person is a mom who decides to stay home and support and raise her family in a loving environment because that’s what she wants to do.

A successful person is a mom who pursues her dreams in life and career demonstrating to her children that you can achieve anything you set your mind to because that’s what she wants to do.

Success is a person who decides to start their own business while working a full-time job and works to build the business until it replaces her income.

Success is a Domino’s store manager who works hard to increase their sales because it’s her passion. 

Success is graduating with honors and finds a job in engineering because that’s what she wants to do. 

Success has nothing to do with fancy cars and Gucci belts. I mean, if that’s what you set your sights on and work towards it, that’s totally up to you, but it’s not that destination that defines your success. When you set your intentions on a worthy goal and you make up your mind that you’re going to accomplish it, then that is what determines your success. It’s when you make a clear vision in your mind that you’re going to do or become something and with deliberate steps, you work your way to that goal.

The crazy thing is, according to Earl Nightingale, only 20 percent of people ever set deliberate goals in their lives. So, when you’re stuck in life and you don’t know what decision to make, making the next right step is going to be a challenge because you have no idea where you’re going or what you’re doing. 

Goals are vital to know what step you need to take next in life. 

Without goals, you’re like a ship without a captain, without a destination, and without a crew to man the ship. When that ship takes off from the port, if it makes it out of port, I can guarantee that it will crash into the land, but now if you take that ship and give it a captain, a crew, and a specific destination, then 9999 times out of a 10,000 it will make it to its destination. And at any given moment on its voyage, the captain knows exactly what to do next to make sure the ship pulls into the right port. And it’s super easy to get back on track when they make a wrong decision. 

Life is the same exact way. If you don’t have a plan, if you’re not sure where you’re going, why you’re doing what you’re doing every day, then you’ll struggle to make decisions in your life. You’ll find it hard to know what the next right thing to do it. 

But what if you just don’t know where to go or what to do?

What if you’re like, “Charity I can’t seem to find a clear vision for myself. There isn’t some burning passion inside of me to pursue some grand goal.”

Well, welcome to the family. You’re hanging out with a sister friend right now. I lived the first 40 years of my life aimless and waffling all over the place when it came to goals and the direction I wanted to go. I just couldn’t seem to figure one darn thing out. 

Again, life goals don’t have to be grand. If you have no idea what you want to do with your life or where you want to go, it’s ok. I’m telling you, I was 40, so you’re not a lost soul. 

You can start today exploring your life to find what lights you up. Begin to think about what you think about. Begin to pay attention to where you want to see yourself and what you want to do. You won’t know in a week and you may not know in a year, but the fact that you’re paying attention is a win in and of itself. In fact, make your goal to find a goal. There. Now you’re all ready a successful person. 

I’ve been one in my own life to lack commitment to goals. I never kept them because deep down I didn’t believe I deserved them. I would make excuses like I didn’t know how, or I didn’t know the right people or had enough money, but really deep down I was terrified to step out and do or be something that made me happy. 

And the truth is if you believe you can’t then you won’t. As I began to change my thoughts and began to believe that I could have the life I desired, I began to shift and goal setting became so much easier. This is a journey, you’re never going to arrive. Because once you reach a goal, immediately set a new one, because success isn’t achieving your goal it’s realizing what it is and working towards it. 

One day I’m going to write a book and call it How to Change Your Life in Two Years or More (60 Days at a Time). Because learning to achieve the life you secretly desire is going to take time. Lots of time. With ups and downs, 2 steps forwards and three steps back. It’s gonna be slipping back into your default and forgetting why you’re doing what you’re doing. It’s gonna be highs and lows. And on the lows you’ll decide to quit and let your ship go adrift., then on the high, you’ll set your ship on its destination again. It’s not easy changing first your thoughts, then your goals, then your actions. Turning your life around is like turning around that ship on a dime. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it begins right now, making the next right step toward a worthy ideal that will ultimately give you a clear vision as to what next steps you need to take.

Also, don’t make these changes alone. Find a friend or a spouse or someone you can connect with to challenge and support you as you begin to make the changes in your life. This is your journey and no one can make it for you, but it does help to have someone you can process the extra hard days with and celebrate the extra good days. 

Maybe you don’t have a support system in your life that you can tap into and you’re not sure where to look, well, I’m excited to announce that I’m launching a 60 day challenge that will be a guiding light and support to help bring you clarity, healing, self-awareness, and overcoming your limiting beliefs. Every day for 60 days we will focus on the internal shifts needed to make the outward changes you want to see. We’ll focus on the goals you have set or are looking for. 

I have been doing these challenges for myself for the past nine months. I’m currently working through my fifth challenge and I can’t sing enough praises how these challenges have changed my life. I have a friend that she and I do them together, supporting and challenging each other to continue to grow and become a better version of ourselves. We daily look to our worthy ideal and we continue to strengthen our commitment to set goals in our lives and work hard to achieve them. 

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in doing yourself and connecting with others on the same journey as you, Head over to charitycraig.com/60daychallenge where you can find more details and sign up for the email waiting list. I’m super excited to host this, and I positive this will be the shift you’re looking for in your life.

Here’s my challenge to you: Write down the definition of success. Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. Under it write, What is my worthy goal that I’m working toward? and tape it to your bathroom mirror. Every morning ask yourself this question. If you don’t know what your goal is, perfect! Here’s our new goal. My goal is to discover my goal. Then, began to think about where you want to see yourself and what you want to do. Remember, it doesn’t have to be grandioso, it just needs to be what YOU want to do. Then, head over to charitycraig.com/60daychallenge and sign up for the challenge.

Here’s the recap: The secret to a successful life is doing the next right thing. And if you take more right steps in your life than the wrong, then your life is a success. But what does success actually mean? It’s not just about money in the bank and likes on Instagram. Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. To be successful you simply need to set a goal for yourself and then with deliberate and determined commitment work to accomplish it. If you’re working toward your goals, then you’re already a successful person. It’s when you quit your goals, you’re unsuccessful. So, anytime you’re stuck and don’t know what to do, you simply have to look at your goals and you’ll know what step you need to take to move forward toward that worthy ideal. Your worthy ideal is anything that you want to do, it can be a teacher, salesperson, entrepreneur, or stay at home mom. Whatever it is, it’s worthy if it’s what you desire. 

You’re doing a better job than you realize. Even if you have no idea where you’re going or what you want to do in life, you’re not in the wrong place, you’re exactly where you need to be. You’re here listening to this podcast on the day that you’re supposed to be listening to it. Your life has led you to this moment and nothing, I mean nothing, you’ve done or experienced was a waste. So, celebrate how far you’ve come and then lace up your boots and get to work figuring out where you want to go. You’ve got this! 

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