How Do You Define Success?

What does success look like? You alone define what success means to you.

I was asked a question today: “Several weeks from now, if you have successfully followed through, what does that accomplishment look and feel like?”

Such a good question to ask and answer. After all, why move into action without first setting a clear, positive intention for where you’re trying to go?

This question is essential if, like me, you struggle with attention deficit and distractibility. (These days, who isn’t having their attention pulled in multiple directions by the latest bright shiny object or global catastrophe?)

Clarifying the vision of what you want to accomplish and create, painting a specific and detailed picture in your mind, then giving laser focus to the vision by taking action – that’s what moves the dream forward. Otherwise you might start 20 projects and finish none (my downfall). Or find yourself busy-busy-busy, yet accomplishing nothing but running in circles. Or find yourself so distracted by what everyone else is doing that all you accomplish is “following” or “liking”. Don’t let other people set the agenda for your time.

These are my suggestions for clarifying the vision of what you want to create…

  • Details bring the vision to life. Use energizing and descriptive words.
  • The words “I AM” add power to the intention.
  • Make it at least 50% believable
  • Envision the outcome, not the specific action steps to get there.
  • Use positive wording – put focus on what you do want.
  • Specify your time frame: short-term (next several weeks), medium term (one year), or a dream that has no timeline.
  • Include both an inner and outer focus (what does it look like in the outer world and how does it feel inside).
  • Add the phrase “This or something better for the highest good of all concerned”. This allows for the possibility that the Universe (God/Spirit/higher power) can bring you something even better than you imagine, and might know what’s for your highest good more than you do.
  • Make it heart-centered.
  • Tune in to what shows up after creating the intention/vision. You might find messages in movies, books, billboards, or bumper stickers. New people, offers of help and support, and new opportunities might show up. Pay attention.

You can write a paragraph, make a list, create a vision board — I do encourage you to put it in writing, put it someplace you’ll see it, and make it visually appealing for you.

Here is an example of creating through collage…



Here is an example called an Ideal Scene. It puts a heart with “I AM” at the center, with branches that detail the vision.


Note: the practice of creating Ideal Scenes came from studying at the University of Santa Monica. The question that inspired this article was posed by the writing coach Angie Ebba.

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One Response to How Do You Define Success?

  1. Angie Ebba says:

    Ah yes, I was actually going to suggest a vision board! I like the idea of starting it, but leaving a lot of blank space, and as the Universe provides, adding to it!

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