How do You Define Success?

"Success is when you have the courage to fight for your dream, your character, and your integrity with everything you've got. It means taking huge risks, over and over, and saying, 'I gave it my best.'" - Piper Mackay

Everyone's definition of success is different and ultimately it boils down to what matters to you and what makes you happy. For some success could be owning a fancy car or having a closet filled with designer clothes. For me, success is being able to decide how I spend my time. Last year, when I learned she had cancer, I decided that spending as much time as possible with my dog meant more to me than anything so I left the Bay Area and moved back to San Diego. No amount of material gain was going to be worth more to me than being with her during her last months and if I had the chance to do it over I would do things exactly the same. It takes courage to define success on your own terms but to live life by someone else's standards will never satisfy you.


Only you can define and live your success. Only you can do something about where you are now and where you end up. Don't be afraid to really think about what you want and to make that happen. It's not easy, it can be risky and it will definitely take a lot of work, but it's totally worth it.

Consider this:

  • What matters most to you at this very moment?
  • What do you really enjoy doing and feel that you're not doing enough of?
  • What makes you feel alive?
  • What things make you excited to get up in the morning?
  • What's one thing you can do today towards that goal?
  • How would you like to spend your future?
  • Who inspires you and why?

Now that you have an idea of what success means to you, contemplate "What if...?":

  • What if you take no chances and remain right where you are?
  • What if five years from now your life is exactly the same?
  • What if you do what everyone else expects you to do?
  • What if you try and fail?
  • What if you succeed?

Take one step today towards living your own definition of success. What can you do right now? Next week? Next year? Plan for the future but don't compromise the present to do so. Don't leave everything that makes you happy for later. Spend as much time as you can doing what you love now and living life on your terms and you will immediately begin to feel successful. I feel successful every day. I'm not rich, I don't own a new car or fancy clothes, but I'm grateful that I get to live my life on my terms and spend my time in ways that are meaningful to me. What I learned from my sweet Bella is that you have to enjoy the moment because tomorrow is not guaranteed.