"If you get great grades in school, you will be successful." "If you work hard, you will be successful."
I must admit, I too have said these things to people over the years. Want to know what is wrong with these comments though? They treat success or being successful as a destiny, the finish line in which you can finally stop. This is where I feel things go wrong. Success is not so much a destiny as it is a journey. Being totally honest, you can be successful and absolutely fail. You see, Success is not based upon your life as much as it is based upon completion of a goal. To an alcoholic who is trying to quit drinking, success is the strength of going the whole day without a beer. Tomorrow comes and yet again, if the alcoholic goes without a beer again, they are successful yet again. However, the next day they drink. Per their goal of quitting, they are not being successful. It DOESN'T mean however, they are not totally successful, they could be successful at some other goal..
Living a life of success really means that you set goals, whatever they are, and you accomplish them throughout your life. Everyone has different goals which leads to differences in the work "Success." It very important to understand that failing, however, it often more rewarding due to the learning that takes place. In fact, the fear of failure oftentimes takes the focus you need away from being successful in your goals.
Maybe success to you is that you are a stay at home mom or that you have become a millionaire. Success is yours to define. For example, an NFL football player receiving 1 million a year for his position might deem a new contract as success whereas someone working an average income position might feel success as having 1 million dollars in their retirement. In fact, the thought of the word success can be overwhelming to some as it not specific and a timeframe has not been set.
One can easily say, getting out of bed is a success or just getting to work on time is a success. Personally, I feel we put too much value on success as being Rich. There are plenty of celebrities who are ultimately successful financially yet the rest of their life is a total disaster. This clearly shows that success doesn't lead to happiness. IN FACT, happiness will lead you to greater success (hint, hint)
At the end of the day, YOU need to decide what success equates to, and only you! One thing to note, through the process of reaching your goals, your mind will grow and your thoughts will likely change. Remember to revisit your thoughts of success so that it stays current to your existing state of mind.
Good luck to you!