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In our materialistic world, success and wealth seem to be synonymous. This can be disheartening for those of us who work diligently each day but aren’t seeing much progression in our bank accounts.
Despite the world’s general definition of it, there are many ways to measure success that don’t have a thing to do with money. Indeed, some of the most successful people in the world never had fame or fortune, but they achieved great things.
If you’re viewing yourself as a failure because you’re not rolling in money, here are 10 measures of success you need to know now:
1. A sense of joy and fulfillment
A musician may never get signed to a major label or sell his or her music for big bucks, but that person is successful if he or she truly loves the work. Success in finances really doesn’t mean much if you dread going to work every day. There are some truly miserable millionaires out there and some genuinely happy janitors. Which would you rather be?
2. How much time you spend with your family
If you’re able to leave work behind and savor precious moments with your family every single day, then you are successful. So many people, whether wealthy or not, place such an emphasis on earning money that they completely miss out on the people for whom they are working. No one regrets spending time with loved ones, but many people do regret spending too much time at work when the moment really counts.
3. The impact you have on others
Making a positive difference in the life of someone else is an enormous measure of success. Whether it’s through the philanthropic efforts of your business or as a personal humanitarian crusader, the impact we have on others speaks volumes more about us than the size of our bank accounts.
4. How well you stick to your guns
If you can know in your heart that every penny you ever earned was earned honestly, you are successful. It’s so easy to compromise morals and values or skirt around ethical issues when there’s a possibility of a big payday. Standing your ground and refusing to make any decision that conflicts with your convictions says a lot about your character. After all, is it really success if it makes you feel dirty inside?
5. How many times you got back up
Everyone experiences failures. It is how we respond to and learn from those failures that define our true success. As long as you keep trying, you haven’t really failed. Perseverance, determination and drive to get it right, even in the face of failure, are what separate the successful from the average.
6. The ability to be your own boss
This doesn’t mean you actually have to work for yourself, although it certainly can. What it does mean is that you are balanced and strong enough to speak up for what is right for you. It means that you can say no to someone if what they are asking isn’t good for you. It means you can make plans and set goals for yourself regardless of what others think and without their approval. It means you are independent, able to make positive decisions and know how to care for yourself in body, mind and spirit.
7. How well you are respected among your peers
Being respected and being liked on a personal level isn’t always the same thing. Success can be measured by how much value others place on your opinion. Are you a role model for others? Do your co-workers trust you? Do people come to you for advice? If so, then you have experienced success.
8. Your willingness to challenge yourself
It’s easy to do what you know and what is comfortable. You may even get along fine as far as income goes with this approach. Taking a risk and challenging yourself to become more than you were, however, that is a measure of success. Even if it doesn’t end the way you’d envisioned, you can know that you succeeded in trying to be everything you could be.
9. Your ability to adapt
The goals you had when you were 20 may not be right for you at 30. You may even find that you have to start all over from scratch at the exact time you expected to start relaxing. If you can respond positively to the need to change course, even when doing so seems like it’s setting you back by years, then you are successful. Even if you aren’t starting over, the ability to adapt, flex and redefine goals as the need arises are central to obtaining lifelong successes.
10. Realizing your dreams
Your dream could be to own a global brand or it could be to simply set up a pottery room in your home for personal pleasure. What the dream is doesn’t matter. What matters is whether or not you have made it a reality, or are in the process of doing so.
What are some non-monetary ways you define success? Do you find that it’s harder to view yourself as successful when money is tight, even if you have achieved success by the above standards? Share your thoughts in the comments section!