Defining Success on Your Own Terms

Article Categories: Caregiver Corner & Other

Success is tricky, and not just because of the many challenges encountered before reaching the finish line, but also because you have to first choose how to define it.

If we consider how most people see success, we think of things like six-figure salaries, luxury cars and a big house in a posh neighborhood, being a member of an elite golf club, having a high position in a Fortune 500 company, and numerous certificates and diplomas hanging on the wall. To most people, these things paint the picture of success.

For CNAs, however, whose average annual salary is $27,520 in the third year on the job, these criteria for achievement seem too unrealistic, even if they give it a decade or more of back-breaking overtime and zero vacations.

If you use only luxurious material gains as your yardstick for measuring success, you'd be living a life of constant lack, and it will be hard to feel truly accomplished.

This is why it is vital you define success on your own terms, with your own goals, timeframe, and standards of success. When you own the definition, you move away from the rigid, one-size-fits-all meaning of success and live within your truth.

What’s more, after giving it some serious thought, your material goals will likely become simpler and you’ll focus more on what matters most—personal goals, building relationships, making an impact at work, balancing family life and career, and your health.

This way you'll have more control over what happens in your life and will be able to make sound decisions that will take you where you want to go.

So, if you are to set the stage for your success, what would it be? Here's a simple two-step process for you:

1. Think of what really matters in life, and keep it short and sweet.

Too cliché for you? Think of it this way: your happiness from your success depends on the simplicity of your criteria. If you’re having a hard time with this one, check out the tips below for inspiration:

Choose health over wealth (but let yourself be happy with an increase in pay or a promotion at work). Fitness goals should ring a bell. Choose a peaceful and loving home over stress and a drama-filled life.

Look into improving yourself and learning new things. If you choose wisely, the payback is real and very satisfying.

If you end up wanting more and more, without feeling any contentment, reflect on your choices and criteria. You may be investing your time and effort on fleeting things, or things that aren’t truly meaningful to you. Again, you dictate what will make you happy and successful. This step is crucial.

2. Work on what really matters, no matter what.

Keep the promises you made to yourself and never stop working on them. Every. Single. Day. Even when it gets harder, strive. When it gets overwhelming, take a needed break and pick back up where you left off, when you’re recharged and ready. If you fail for whatever reason, forgive yourself, learn your lessons, and start again.

Give 100% to your tasks each time and don’t sacrifice the end goal for an easy way out. Keep your focus, but don’t forget to enjoy the journey!

The finale is this: celebrate every small success, and when you finally hit a homerun, encourage others to define their own success the way you did and feel proud watching them take their first steps.


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