When people are asked to define the word success, the responses are often a bit too high-level. They might talk about things like just being happy, which is a fine answer but it’s still rather vague.
In his book “The Personal MBA“, author Josh Kaufman put it this way:
Instead of using complex States of Being like “success” and “happiness” as decision criteria, it’s far better to decide what these states actually mean to you. For example, I define “being successful” as “working on things I enjoy with people I like,” “feeling free to choose what I work on,” and “having enough money to live without financial stress.”
Together, these States of Being provide a much more useful definition of success—if that’s how I’m experiencing the world, I’m “successful.”
The same goes for “happiness.” Instead of being a single State of Being, “being happy” is a combination of “having fun,” “spending time with people I enjoy,” “feeling calm,” and “feeling free.” When those States of Being describe my experience in the present moment, I’m “happy.” Breaking down “happiness” into its component parts helps me ensure I’m doing things that will help me experience it more fully and more often.
If you’re able to break down “success” into the pieces that really matter, it becomes much easier to make it happen. You might find that you are happy when you’re hiking with friends, or working to restore an old car, or simply relaxing and having a drink.
It’s much easier to find a way to “go hiking with some friends” then it is to simply work to be “happy”. Define what success really looks like, and then go chase those tangible results.