Keep Setting Goals

Exactly What is Success?

Is success measured by how much money you have? How happy you are? How satisfied? Is success really just up to you?

Here's the Merriam-Webster definition:

noun: 1) satisfactory completion of something. 2) the gaining of wealth and fame. 3) one that succeeds.

I especially like the first definition. Success is the "satisfactory completion of something", but the satisfactory completion of what?

I've come up with this formula:


"S" is success, "G" stands for goals, and "A" for achievement. Success is the result of your goals multiplied by the number of times you achieve your goals. In other words, the more times you achieve your goals, the more successful you are.


But definition number two says "the gaining of wealth and fame". Can you really be successful without wealth and fame? I don't think so. However, the way you define wealth and fame is very important in determining your personal vision of success.

In the Dynamic Components of Personal Power philosophy wealth means to have "enough". You need enough to create satisfaction in 3 areas of life: material, emotional and spiritual. Wealth means having abundance in each of these areas. What constitutes abundance in each area depends entirely on your personal needs and desires.

Fame is the people you know and the people who know you. You can't create success in a vacuum. You need people who need your services, and you need people who can help you create and deliver those services.

I'd have to say that to be successful; you have to develop wealth and fame. The rest is really up to you!

This is why goals are so important. You decide exactly what your goals and ambitions are. The more often you design goals specific to your vision of success, and the more often you achieve your goals, the more successful you become.

That's why someone may have a lot of money without feeling successful. That's why people who control others by fear and domination are not necessarily successful, only feared and tolerated for a time.

On the other hand, you may be very well respected and admired and feel a great spiritual connection with the universe, but if you don't have enough money you also may feel like a failure.

There are people who have very little money and still feel successful materially, emotionally and spiritually. I admire these people. Remember, anyone who has "enough" can be successful. Only you can determine what "enough" is for you is.

So, how does one become successful?

Pay attention to all three areas, material, emotional and spiritual. Set goals in each area and achieve those goals. It's really that simple.

Of course, things don't always go the way you planned. One of the most interesting traits of successful people I've found through my study is that successful people fail...a lot! They're also the ones who pick themselves up, dust themselves off and... you know the rest!

Create a big picture vision of your ultimate success. Then set manageable goals that take you incrementally toward this ultimate success.

Keep setting goals. Keep achieving as many goals as possible. Inevitable failures become of the learning curve leading to your ultimate success. Failure is just tuition! When you experience failure, set goals that help you make a course correction and orient yourself back toward success.


In my formula you can see that the more goals you set and achieve, the greater your feeling of success. Be sure to use a balanced approach in your goal setting and take care of all the important areas of your life. Determine what "enough" is for you and go for it!

Then you can apply the third definition of success to yourself:

3. One who succeeds!

Copyright © 2007 Jim Bouchard
Jim is a Black Belt Speaker and author of Dynamic Components of Personal Power. Find out more about Jim on