How do you define success?


If you’re reflecting back at the year that just happened and thinking about the year ahead, it’s inevitable you’re going to consider success and failure. Maybe it’s been a year where there have been more of one than the other. This may be uplifting or send you in a down ward spiral.

If you’re in reflection mode and planning mode it’s vital that you determine this one thing:

What is success?

You not only need to define this for yourself, you need to write it down. Put it somewhere safe (and that you can remember) so you can return to this definition on an annual basis.

It’s important to define success for yourself because there is no one definition. Not in the arts.

An actor can work on TV or on the stage or in movies. Which is the definition of success? Is it TV or movies? Is getting awards the definition of success? Is it money? Is it getting an agent? Is it acting on stage on a regular basis?

A writer can write novels, plays, or screen plays. Which is the definition of success? Is it writing every day? Is it getting a book deal? Is it being produced on Broadway?

Further to that, you can’t define your success on the success of others. This is a trap. As a young playwright I made this mistake time and time again. I lived a bitter life because I looked at the success of other writers and I defined myself on those successes. If I didn’t get what they had, I was a failure. But when I defined success for myself I realized I didn’t really want what they had.

What is success?

When you define success you have a goal. If you have a goal, you can create action steps toward that goal. Steps are important. You don’t want to leave your goals in dream land. “I wish I could do this…. I would love to be that….”

Don’t dream about success. Write down your definition. Take action.