Honestly, I’ve listened to, witnessed and had conversations with some truly successful people. I’ve also listened to, witnessed and had conversations with people who perceived themselves to be successful – or who others perceived were successful, who actually – were not. And it got me thinking…what is success? I’m not one to generalise, but of the former group, the successful ones, they had a similar trait or two. And the latter mob, they also had similar traits. The difference between them came down to just one, single thing. Success is either an ideal, or a definition. That’s it. That’s my explanation. You see people walk around with an ideal of what success is and others can actually define it. If you read a book about successful people such as Richard Branson, Russell Crowe and Tiger Woods, the theme would be about the general and common steps to success. They all had drive. They all had purpose. They all had this and that. But if you were to read specifically, Russell Crowe’s book, or Richard Branson’s book or a book on Tiger Woods, they would be completely different. That’s because each book about each subject has a different definition of what success is. Every successful person is able to define success – FOR THEM. Everybody else just perceives success for what they believe it to be. Money? Lifestyle? Wealth? Academia? Awards? Recognition? General terms relating to society’s perception of success. I once watched a guy give a speech on what made him successful. He went into his hours, minutes, days of work and searching for new business, to the point where he was a wealthy man. Within the same speech he mentioned his wife leaving him and his kids hating him…and I went…”hang on. yes you’re successful in your career…but are you really that successful as a human being?” All of a sudden Tiger’s book looks a little more intriguing. He can swing a club, but it turns out he has issues in other areas where he’s left in the bunker! So I looked at the truly successful “all rounders” and came to this conclusion. They can define “success” in one word. From that single word, they can describe their own philosophies on life in one word. For example, if success was “money”, their philosophies may be “extravagant” “women” “parties” “fun”. If success for another person was defined as “Academia” the philosophy may revolve around words such as “recognition” “published” “accepted” “respected”. In other words, your definition does not include words that make you feel guilty, or ashamed. They also don’t live in another person’s shadow. Russell Crowe, Marlon Brando and Sean Connery do not believe that they are successful because of the awards they receive or the recognition they acquire – even though some of their peers believe that to be the case. They believe they are successful because they are able to do what they love, for a living, and they are able to do it for a living! Their number one priority is not the publicist, the Academy or even for that matter their fans. It is their family. The people they hang around and whose company they enjoy. Russell Crowe would rather spend time with you or I than with the co-star in his latest movie. He does not define himself as a movie actor even though that is what he does for a living. He defines himself as a father, husband, son and friend. And so should you and I. It’s one thing to have an ideal of what success is, but it’s another to define it. I challenge you now to think of a single word to define success to you. For me it is “BALANCE”. Then, come up with 5 x single words that define your philosophy on life that ties in with your single word. For me it is “laughter” “family” “equality” “health” “wealth”. If one of those 5 things are unbalanced, my pursuit for success is unbalanced. Now doesn’t that make us all, a little more successful? It’s one thing to have a bank account that reads $1,000,000,000. It’s another type of bank account that has zero, representing your number of friends!