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Being Successful: Unlocking Opportunities and Defining Success to You

Success, a word that we hear all the time and comes with a lot of pressure – but its definition remains diverse and unclear. As we grow up, we try to tackle things in life we’ve never been exposed to before, and arises the question: What does it truly mean to be successful?

Decorative image stating:
Success is a journey
is no accident
is defined by you

Success doesn’t just mean having a nice job or lots of money (although some may define it as such), it is more like opening doors to all sorts of cool things in life. In the digital age of 2024, it’s easy to get caught up in comparing ourselves to others, especially on social media. Keep in mind everything we see on social media has been plucked and curated, and a lot of the content we see is fake or staged.

Real success is about knowing what matters to us and going after it. It’s about being okay with making mistakes and learning from them. It’s about staying true to ourselves, even when things get tough.

Yes, money and job security are important, but the definition of success differs from one person to another. For some, being successful may mean completing a college degree or achieving an A in a difficult class. For others, it may be becoming wealthy or being able to afford certain luxury things.

You may see two successful people on social media, but both in their own way. A fitness influencer may have 30 brand deals and 2 million followers, while a stay-at-home mother may just share family recipes for the world to try. Both are successful, but have nothing to do with each other. Somebody may have bought an expensive car, while someone else just paid off their student loans. Both are successful in their own books.

successful quote
"every big win starts as a few small steps"

While I can’t define success for you or give you the secret to being successful, I can give you some tips on how to start understanding what’s important to you, which will help put you on the path to success:

  • Understand your values and beliefs: These will shape your actions and guide your decisions, so it’s important to define your values and beliefs and stick to them.
  • Set short-term and long-term goals: Short-term goals will help you see progress quicker, while long-term goals will help shape your future and get you to where you want to be in life.
  • Find out what motivates you*: Do you get motivated by personal satisfaction? Social support? Rewards and recognition? By figuring out what makes you want to get up in the morning, you can use it to your advantage.
  • Stay Persistent: You won’t achieve your goals overnight, so this one is extremely important. The journey is not always up, but it’s important to keep going.
  • Take Action: The most important thing is to stay active, not passive. Take initiative, step out of your comfort zone, and try to avoid procrastination at all costs.

*Not sure what motivates you? Read more about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation here.

Ultimately, becoming successful is about finding happiness and fulfillment in our own lives, whatever that may look like for each of us. It’s about setting our own goals and working towards them, no matter how minuscule they may be. In the end, it’s not about how we measure up to others, it’s about how we feel about ourselves and the lives we’ve built. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

Need more tips on unlocking success? How about reading 10 Tips for Success for Young Graduates a read!

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