How to: Defining Success...

Success is in the mind of the beholder. There are no rules on what success has to be. It is as simple or as complex as anyone wants it to be for themselves. 

And now, allow me to contradict myself...

I've come to hypothesize that there exists a universal boundary as to what all ideologies of success must stay within. In order to define success for yourself, you must have a strong sense of self and your personal narrative and history. Having an understanding of who you are as an individual will allow you to embrace what in life will bring you sustainable happiness and fulfillment. A major factor in this process is the gritty task of understanding the social narratives pitted against you and dissecting the family and peer pressures you're facing. Consciously and subconsciously, these exist all around us. 

As a college and career coach, it's a common theme for me to walk alongside individuals through the maze, navigating and untangling parent's, significant other's or friends' wants and desires, to eventually get to their own, unencumbered. We can never be sustainably happy if we're fulfilling someone else's goals and dreams. 

Which brings me to my next parameter; all ideologies of success must lead to an overall fulfillment, self-gratitude, and a strong sense of satisfaction. Of course, these feelings will not be by your side 24/7 all day every day. But these must be the primary and most consistent feelings of someone who has reached of their ideology of success. Even for those of us who are constantly driven to want more. By simply being in a state where you're able to take gratification in striving for more, is absolutely within the parameter. Consider Serena Williams, who seeks fulfillment through consistently striving for more and better. By remaining focused on her passions and interests, she reaps consistent fulfillment as she grinds towards newer and more challenging goals. In other words, success can be the journey, not just the destination.

As for myself, I define success as equaling significance. I desire to have a grand and positive impact on others and within my community, and along the way developing a comfortable lifestyle for myself. Living life to what I deem it’s fullest; the ability to learn at will, the ability to travel and explore regularly, and to continue to enjoy and foster beautiful friendships and relationships.

How do you define success?

If you would like some support in further defining your own personal version of success or identifying particular steps and strategies to achieve your vision, let's connect! Contact me for a free Candid Professional career coaching session @

"The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do."


Written by:

Corbin J. Pickett