Defining Success

Many of my clients have found that until you take the time to define success for yourself, it tends to be defined for you — and often not to your benefit. You end up chasing goals that aren’t really yours — ideas that you picked up growing up, from advertising, from the culture at large. As a result, people get the things that they thought would make them feel successful, and find that they don’t feel any different than they did before.


This is a little three-minute exercise that many people find can begin to change their lives. This exercise is from the Perfect Life program that many of my one-on-one coaching clients have enjoyed. I’ve also recently started offering A Perfect Life as a group coaching teleclass.

  1. Write down the following sentence three times, while filling in the blank. “I know how successful I am by how ______________________.” Don’t change the sentence around, just complete it with answers that seem true for you.
  2. Take out your sentences each day for next few days, and “tweak” them. Pay attention to your emotional response — when you get them “just right” for you, you’ll feel a real solid response — they’ll make you tingle, or your lights go on or your bell ring. Since this is a new exercise for most people, it may take a few days until you really start to experience a powerful response, but it won’t take long until you just know you’ve got them right.
  3. Once you’ve got your success definitions resonating, you may start noticing the way they tug at you to make changes in your life — some of them might be small, some of them might be very significant. Many people find that it’s easier to catch themselves when they start getting pulled away from their definitions, or to say “no” to people or situations that just don’t fit anymore with what’s most important to them. You’ll have to decide for yourself whether it’s the right time for you to start making these changes, but you’ll now have a much better idea of what you really want to do, deep down inside.

This exercise is only a small (but potent) part of A Perfect Life. To learn more about A Perfect Life, or view more of the sample materials, click here.