What's YOUR Definition of Success?

A lot of my clients – and friends – come to speak to me about their careers, often because they don’t feel quite fulfilled with what they are doing at the moment and are wondering what should come next. Usually, my first question to them is not what their dream career would look like, but, rather, what their dream LIFE would look like…

…and that quickly brings us to these questions: What do you REALLY want? What is it that REALLY matters to you? And what is YOUR definition of a successful life?


Only when we have clarity on these questions, we start to look at the career options that could best support this ideal life.


What makes it so difficult for us to know and follow our OWN definition of success is that there are so many voices around us that keep shouting at us what we are supposed to regard as important. And one thing that’s even more tragic than not knowing what our idea of success, is to follow one definition of success for a lifetime and only realize too late that it was in fact somebody else’s.


Philosopher, Author, and founder of The School Of Life, Alain de Botton, examines our society’s ideas of success and failure -- and questions the assumptions underlying these two judgments. And he advocates a kinder, gentler definition of success. Watch him in this witty and thought-provoking TED talk:



So, have YOU asked yourself lately what your OWN definition of a successful life looks like?


Here’s mine (that I adopted from author Christopher Morley):


“There is only one success: to spend my life in my own way.”