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What Does Success Look like to You?

Society talks about success all the time … and for many people that might be the old “American Dream”. 

Having a good job, a nice house, 2.5 kids and decent health, with perhaps the family dog and a white picket fence … or the 21st century equivalent.

I think it is also fair to say that success is a somewhat foggy concept for many people, who live their lives day to day hoping that “things will work out”.

The reality is that we are all different, and success might look different to each of us, so it is important to understand what that looks like for us!

“Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion.”

Tony Hsieh

I also think that many people accept other’s ideas about what success should be. 

Their parents, their peers and others around them influence what success should look like.

“If you are willing to do more than you are paid to do, eventually you will be paid to do more than you do.”


Here are my thoughts on success …

  1. As I already mentioned, success is personal and should be specific to the individual.

  2. Success embraces all areas of your life, so it is possible to achieve success in one part of your life at the expense of another, and if you are OK with that, then that is your call.

  3. If you don’t have some kind of goals then it is difficult to know if you have achieved success.

  4. If it is important to you that others recognize your success, then you need that success to be in line with their vision of success. The opposite applies too, if you don’t care what others think then your success goals are somewhat simplified.

  5. No level of success comes without effort.

  6. I try to achieve goals (success) in my professional life, with my health, with my relationships and in non-work activities. If I am “successful” in my career aspirations but it costs me my health then I don’t value that “success” very highly.

  7. If I am healthy, have strong relationships, achieve my personal goals AND have career success then THAT is how I would define success.

  8. To achieve MY type of success I need to know what success looks like…  what “healthy” looks like; what relationships are important to me and what a strong relationship looks like; what those personal goals are, and what “career success” looks like.

  9. It is possible to be very successful in the eyes of others… but not feel that way. And vice versa! Sometimes we feel different than others perceive!

  10. Very often your views on success move, as you achieve more. That is a good thing!

“Whenever you see a successful person, you only see the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them.” 

Vaibhav Shah

Do you know what success looks like … for you?

Are you successful?

Are you heading in the right direction?

Do you make a difference?

Kevin Dee is the founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)

Want to know where Canada's hot jobs are? Visit the Eagle Job Board!


I write these articles with the intent of sharing MY experience and knowledge gained during MY life journey. From the 16 year old joining the Royal Navy, through many incarnations, to the grey haired guy who built a business. If you find a nugget here, then I am happy. If the message offends you then I apologise, that was never my intent. I know and recognize there are many people and groups who have a far bigger challenge than I have had and I only wish you well.