How To Be Successful

How do you determine whether you’re successful or not? How do you know if you’re on the right path?

The other day, a reader emailed me and expressed some concerns over what she saw as a lack of success in her life. These concerns were based upon how she though other people viewed her.

I responded to her with my thoughts on success, and I think they warrant being re-posted here. I’m sure there are other people out there who would benefit from them.

While I can’t give you the answer to making other people think you’re successful, I can tell you what my definition of success is. To me, success is three things:

  1. Having the ability to do what I want, where I want, and when I want (sanely)
  2. Having close relationships with people I love
  3. Being able to help other people out without having to worry about how it’ll affect me

None of these things involve looking good to other people – and that’s just the thing.

Success is something you define. It’s not something others define for you. [Tweet this]

That’s one of the main things I try to teach people – you don’t have to have a $80,000/year salary, a big house, and a really nice car to be successful. You don’t need a corner office to be successful.

You could have $800 in the bank and be out in South Africa helping to build houses and be successful – if that’s what you want to be doing. Define your own vision and success and then pursue it – the expectations of others be damned.

Now, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try hard in your current affairs, even if they’re not getting you directly towards your definition of success.

If you have a job right now that isn’t your passion, but that you need to make a living, then make sure you’re doing the best you can at that job. Make every assignment an opportunity to go above and beyond – an opportunity to knock some socks off.

If going to the gym is something you don’t really like, but still think is a good idea, then make that gym session count by going hardcore and doing what will get results.

Make what’s happening in the moment be your passion. Focus on the now and do your best, but always be consciously guiding it toward your vision of success.

Thomas Frank is the geek behind College Info Geek. After paying off $14K in student loans before graduating, landing jobs and internships, starting a successful business, and travelling the globe, he's now on a mission to help you build a remarkable college experience as well. Get the Newsletter | Twitter | Instagram

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