Two Unique Ways To Measure Your Success

The following post is from Sherri of Zen Family Habits:

Photo by: Darren Hester

Are you successful?

What does that even mean? How do you know if you’re successful or not?

There’s a lot of ambiguity when it comes to defining success. Is it monetary or is it an increase in your social standing? Is it getting the job or beating out the competition?

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary success is:

a favorable or desired outcome; also: the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence

For me success boils down to two general thoughts:

1. Contentment

2. Doing what you love while helping others


Being satisfied with who you are, where you are and with what you have.

Are you always waiting for tomorrow? Do you think “things will be better when…”? Are you so hard on yourself that you can’t enjoy what you’ve done or what you’ve experienced to get where you are today?

If so, you’ll find it difficult to find contentment.

And contentment is really quite simple to achieve. It’s all a state of mind and how you choose to view things. It took me a while to grasp this concept and to become content with the way things are, with the person I am and the direction my life is taking.

I think as people, as human beings we get caught up in trying to improve everything, which is fine IF we are able to see where we are now as good enough.

So what kind of person are you? Are you content in being that kind of person? If you are, congrats on your success!

Doing what you love.

Another measure of success to me is the level of  joy or happiness you get out of what you do. If success isn’t just about accumulating wealth, are you focusing your efforts too much on generating it or are you consciously using your talents to help others?

While helping others will certainly make you feel happier; the reality is you need to earn money to keep a roof over your head, food on the table, and clothes on your back, amongst other things.

Marrying the two could get you the best of both worlds. Volunteering your time is great and will indeed lead to increased happiness and feeling good about yourself overall; taking it one step further is getting paid to do what you love to do while helping others!

For example, consider the artist at the mall who does caricatures. He loves what he does, people love his work but he makes only a few dollars an hour. He generates a living doing other things but this is what he loves and he brings joy to people. Who’s to say he’s not a success? I would consider his a great personal success story.

To me, personal success isn’t measured by achieving one specific goal, reaching a particular net worth, or having the biggest and best of anything.

To me, personal success is the whole package, the sum of all the unique qualities that make you who you are, being content with that and all that you currently have while doing what you love.

How would you measure success?

Sherri is a work-at-home mom to two young boys and has been married to her high school sweetheart, Gwynn, for 13 years. Read more from Sherri at Zen Family Habits, where she talks about all things family.