These days you hear a lot about success. Who has it and who doesn’t? How do you find it? But have you ever thought about what success truly means? Especially if you are someone with multiple passions, otherwise known as a Renaissance Soul, scanner, multipotentialite, multipod, or multi-passionate person.
I would caution against looking in the dictionary for the answer since success is determined by each individual. We identify other people as successful based on our perspective, and we decide if our personal experience is one of success.
The trouble lies in our definition. When we define success are we doing it based on societal pressure or based on what is good for us personally? Society might be telling you, “Go to college, you’ll be successful.” Or maybe you’ve heard, “That corporate job will make you successful.” Or you get the negative remarks, “It’s a rare thing to be a successful writer.” We naively oblige and board the success train given to us by others and then we realize – this sucks. When does success enter the picture?
Finding success is an internal thing. You’ve got to go within to find out what it truly means to be successful to you. Your definition of success is definitely different from mine. And we can’t let (or at least we should try to avoid) other opinions sway us into a definition that doesn’t feel good to us.
For me, I have a few success definitions. For my career, success is when I am doing what I love to do (right now that is writing, teaching, and research) when I want to do it (mostly at night), and being able to make decisions about my future that align with my values and goals.
Success in my relationships is when I can unselfishly give of myself to my family and friends to make their lives easier and happier. It also includes engaging with people in my inner circle who not only support my endeavors but who also challenge me to be a better person in the world.
Our personal definition will change over time, especially if you identify with being a multi-passionate Renaissance Soul. However, I highly recommend that you create a definition now. There is no time like the present to create a framework for success that puts you on the road to, well, success! Remember, it will change over time, and that’s okay.
Here’s what I recommend: Think about your life up to this point. When were you the happiest? When were you the most comfortable? When did you feel like you had the most freedom and independence? Write out some of the experiences you had during these times and explore what made them possible. Don’t rush this process. You might start today, think through the questions and answers for a few days and then return to write your final thoughts. The point is to get it out onto the page so you can explore what success truly means for you. Because in the grand scheme of things, that’s really the only thing that matters.
I’ve even made it easy to get started – download the worksheet “My Definition of Success” (look below). It will walk you through a series of questions to create your personal definition of success.
Download the worksheet
"My Definition of Success"
This worksheet will walk you through a series of questions to help you discover, step-by-step, how to define what success means to YOU.
Corrie Ann Gray is a writer, philosopher, coach, wellness advocate and cookie creator. She is also known as The Renaissance Soul Writer and is the founder and director of the Clean Body Project, where she inspires individuals to live a holistically purpose-filled life.