For each of us, reaching success has a different meaning. To some, it is finally buying a dream car, or landing the perfect job. For others, it is simply making it through a difficult situation.
But generally, our beliefs on what success is stem from a few different sources:
1. Our upbringing
How your parents succeeded, or failed to succeed; how they spoke about others who were "successful" in their eyes; how they received you when you did something well. All of these factors play a role in what you view success to be, and what you strive for.
The way you view yourself can shape when and how you view yourself as successful. Those who find confidence and worth in small steps will likely see themselves as successful throughout different stages of life.
Those who are always striving to find success somewhere in the future, will most likely never feel successful, even when they have reached their goals. Things like cars, houses, jobs and relationships will never feel satisfying, and the next best thing will eventually come around to replace what originally was viewed as success.
3. Our relationships
What energy do you put into your relationships? How selfish are you? The importance of relationships in your life can affect your view of what success is.
4. Our personality
Success is likely viewed differently by a person who is more laid back than someone with a more tightly wound personailty. Personality traits can play into the way we see and define success.
5. Our environment
What do those around you view success to be? How do you feel around people you view as successful? Do you have support from those around you, or do they bring you down? Do you compliment others who have found success? All of this can affect the energy that is around you while setting goals and viewing future success.
6. Our thoughts
Do you think negatively about yourself and others? Do you give in to irrational fears? Do you have confidence in your decisions? Do you like yourself? Do you believe in yourself? Do you trust others? Do you trust yourself? Do you trust God? Your thoughts and beliefs can help to shape your view of success.
So, what is success?
If it isn't a destination that can be defined the same for everyone, then why do we keep spending our time feeling like we have failed at getting there?
Because that is a lie that "success" wants you to believe. Its goal is to keep you so busy striving for it, that you miss the things that actually make you successful right now.
We all succeed in our own way. While one woman is out conquering the world in her career, another is raising children at home. While one man is making millions, another is pinching pennies to feed his children. All have found success - just in different ways. But to say one is more successful because of the numbers they have gained, is forgetting that those numbers don't last forever.
And we all have an example who showed us what true success looks like. He came to earth with a unique mission and purpose. His story is one of days spent serving others. He served because he loved. He died because he cared. He could see what we can't - but lived as we can. He is our savior.
So success -- what is it? It is finding the reason God sent you here to earth. Success is leaving a legacy for your family, by the way you show them how to love.
True success at the end of this thing we call life won't be measured in numbers and dollar signs. It won't be a dream house or a dream car. It will be achieved by the good you did. Make memories, laugh and find joy -- in the stuff that matters.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on The Moments We Stand. It has been republished here with permission.
Ashlee Birk is the author of The Moments We Stand, the blog and book series of her healing journey after the secret infidelity and murder of her husband in 2011. Graduate of Utah State. Mom of six. Contact themomentswestand.com www.themomentswestand