Redirect Your Energy with One Question: How Do You Define Success?

Learn how to identify the type of success that will bring you meaningful and lasting satisfaction.

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We spend a lot of time accomplishing amazing successes, yet somehow still feel unfulfilled.  

Have you ever had that feeling as if you accomplished something, but it didn’t bring you as much fulfillment as you thought it would? It doesn’t matter if you are in just the right place in life, or if you know some adjustments are in order. Your energy can be redirected towards the things that matter most to you by getting crystal clear about how you define success.

How Do You Define Success?

When someone first asked me the question, “What is your definition of success?” I was stuck. I asked, what do you mean? Success as in, a day? A year? Ten years? I realized in that moment that how I was defining success was part of my problem. I thought success to me was getting bigger, better, and further. Any my efforts were matching that. However, when I found how I really defined success, my commitments no longer matched my convictions.

If I really define the type of success for myself that would bring lasting and meaningful satisfaction, it doesn’t have to do with climbing a career ladder, earning a bonus or even slaying a big project at work. And there is nothing wrong with those things, in fact, they feel great! I have simply found them to be short-lived wins, for me. Sometimes we spend much of our lives, especially at work, accomplishing amazing successes yet somehow feel unfulfilled. Why is that? It is because we are expending energy on wins that don’t add up to the definition of success that really matters to us?

If you start with this one question, you will be asking yourself about something that seemed so obvious to you that you haven’t even thought about it for a long time. Ask this question of yourself on the largest scale that you can muster. The type of success that lasts beyond the moment.

For example, nailed a project? Success! Didn’t eat the whole pint of ice cream in one sitting? Success! Got that promotion? Success! Of course, these are all wins. But if you looked back over the entire course of your life, what would you need to see in order to feel a deep level of success and fulfillment? If it is money, or title, or “the chase,” then great! No judgement here on the nobility of your definition of success. As long as you are honest with yourself about your true definition of success, you are on the right track. You can bring your new and clear definition of success to find fulfillment in what you are already doing, or to identify where to redirect your time and energy.

What is my definition of success? Success would be creating something that alters the course of the world for the better, and maintaining the life I love.

So… what’s yours?

About the author:

Katie Rasoul is the Chief Awesome Officer for Team Awesome, a leadership coaching and culture consulting firm. Find out more by visiting or sign up for our mailing list for awesomeness coming straight to your inbox. Follow Team Awesome on Facebook and Twitter.

Originally published at

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