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How to Think Bigger When Defining Your Success

Success means more than just having money.

Re-defining what success looks like for you is the first step on the way to maximizing your return on life. When money is the only metric we measure, we can easily become obsessed with hitting a certain financial target rather than finding satisfaction in our relationships, experiences and other goals. Each of us needs to find our level of financial “enoughness,” and success.

I have grappled with this throughout my career. Seeking a new definition of success was, in part, what motivated my decision to start Highland Private Wealth Management, and ultimately led me to write The Wealth Creator’s Playbook: A Guide to Maximizing Your Return on Life and Money.

I wrestled with money and “stuff” as the sole definition of success and the dissonance this created in my life at a time when I was experiencing the health and relationship implications of putting the drive for “success” ahead of everything else that was important in my life. I knew there had to be more to life than just amassing a big pile of money, and while I certainly wanted to achieve financial success, I also wanted to experience a broader and more holistic definition of success, something I now refer to as “Living Fully.”

I knew that I wanted it all: I wanted to flourish in every facet of my life—financial, career, satisfaction, family, health, and other personal goals that mattered to me—and I wanted adventure and passion to go along with it. I wanted to know myself better and heal in areas that plagued me. I wanted to go on a spiritual journey that required putting my faith into action. I wanted to understand what I was made of, what made me tick, and what was possible. Through lots of trial and error, coaching and counseling, and embracing my ideal outcomes, my vision of life fully lived took shape.

At the end of your life, it’s unlikely that you will view the amount of money you have as the yardstick defining a successful life. Instead, you will measure how money helped you achieve the things that are most important to you. I’ve also learned that defining success is a very personal endeavor. Your vision of a successful life creates the metrics that will measure the quality and meaning of your life. For me, success is measured by the kind of person I’m becoming, the quality and depth of my relationships, the empathy I show, and the generosity I share with those in need.

As I discuss in The Wealth Creator’s Playbook, the two most important questions you can ask on the road to finding your true meaning of success and creating a truly wealthy life are:

  • What’s the money for?
  • What’s my life for?

Originally published on Quora.

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