Sunday, 24 May 2009


Now that we have finished our ten steps to make you feel better I thought it would be a good time to look at how we measure success. Success is something that most people crave and yet a lot  of the time people feel anything but successful. So we will look at why success is not that hard to achieve and why you are actually successful already.


How do most people judge success? Is it being famous? Is it being rich? Is it being the boss of a major business?  Well let’s look at who we judge as being successful. Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Huge Jackman, Nicole Kidman and the list goes on.  This people are considered to be some of the most successful people in the world but do we all need to reach their levels before we are successful? I say no.


Let’s look at another way to look at success. Being successful means that you are feeling happy about the outcomes of whatever it was you were trying to do. That can be becoming a famous movie star right across to weeding the garden. It is not up to other people to decide whether or not you are successful but up to you to know when you are successful.  If we all had to be rich and famous to be successful then most of us would be feeling a lot like failures every day. Thankfully that not the case. 


Being successful is actually quite easy to achieve and does not require you to be a house hold name. Go back to when you were 3 – 4 years old. How did you feel the first time you were able to dress yourself or tie your own shoe laces? I bet you felt pretty successful. What about the first time you asked somebody out on a date and they said yes? I bet you felt incredibly successful. Then there was the first time you got a job, your licence, finished uni, got married, had kids and so on and on.  These were major points in your life where you can sit back and be proud of yourself for achieving what you were trying to do.  In simple terms you had been successful.


You have been having success all your life and you’re not a movie star. The fact that you can put food on the table every night make you a success. The fact that you can provide food, shelter, clothing, warmth and love to you family makes you very successful. There are a too many people in the world that can’t even that. They struggle everyday to find enough food to feed their family. They see success as just surviving from day to day.


Then there are the people that have had a suffered major health complications or have been in serious accidents . For some of them success comes from being able to walk, chew their own food or to be able to speak again. For some the fact that they can breathe again on their own is a major sign of success for them. They don’t care about money or fame, they just want to get back to what we see as average.


Even some movie stars do not feel successful. Many actors and actresses are never happy with their own performances no matter what we think. Many suffer from depression. They have everything we think that makes a person successful and yet they are still unhappy. In an interview with 60 Minutes, Rowan Atkinson stated that he was never happy with his acting and that the only time help felt truly successful was when he received his truck licence. 


So how do we make ourselves feel successful? Easy, the first thing we need to do is change our ideas of success. We need to realise that success does not come from doing something major in life, it comes from the everyday tasks we achieve. It starts when we start feeling happy about achieving the small things in life as well as the big. When you have finished cleaning the house take time to feel happy about achieving your outcomes. Same with that report you need to write or garden to weed or presentation you need to make. If you can feel successful about doing the small things you will make your life so much better.


To give you an example, I feel extremely successful about writing this column every week. I get to help people feel better about themselves and have a better life. That makes me feel great. However, I feel successful just finishing writing the report, because it means that I have achieved my desired outcomes and can feel proud of myself. I’m not rich or famous but I feel successful. Plus you need to remember you get back whatever you put out. If you put out success it will come back to you.


So to recap, if you want to be successful you need to change how you judge success in your life. Does success mean that you need to be being rich and famous or can you feel successful knowing that you have the ability to tie your shoe laces each morning. You need to learn to celebrate the small things in life as well as the big. You also need to remember that success come from being happy with the outcomes of what you set out to do.  


And as I said at the start, I think you are successful already because you have achieved so much already. So take a moment to sit back and think about all the things you have achieved and feel proud of yourself. You put in the time and effort, be pleased with what you have done.


To help you with building upon your success next week we will look at the power of goal setting, then the week after that we will look at how ensure that you are always successful by making you immune to failure.


Terry Shadwell


P.S most people seem to be unaware that I have a web page. In fact I have a couple. The main site in . My other site is a blog site where all my articles are posted, so if you miss an article or would like to reread one you can find it at or just type Terrence Shadwell into Google or Yahoo and see what pops up.


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