This week, during one of our sessions on ‘developing an empowering mindset’, a participant asked us: “so what is your definition of success?” A great question! 



Our definition of success has surely changed over the years!

When we came out of university, we would have said ‘successful people are those who have the highest status’ (and if you had dug deeper, we would have said it was mostly professional and financial status that mattered).

A couple of years later, we were even more ‘ambitious’: deep down, it was our belief that, in order to be successful, one had to be the top in EVERY area of life (not only work and finances, but also physical appearance, emotional life, parenting, networking, community service etc. In our minds, successful people were the ones who were perfect… in every area of life (sounds familiar?)

Two decades later, we have a totally different definition. Life and a couple of setbacks have taught us that one can have a very high status (the most prestigious job, the biggest house), and not feel successful. And we are not alone: we have witnessed so many people seeking perfection in the hope it would make them feel ‘eternally happy’, only to experience that they felt more and more stressed, worn out and UNsuccessful.

If you ask us now what success is about, we answer: success is about living a worthwhile life (leveraging one’s potential), while at the same time experiencing fulfillment and happiness on a regular basis.

  1. A worthwhile life is about the ‘what’: having a true impact on something you truly care about.
  2. Happiness is about the ‘how’: experiencing magic moments on a regular basis.
  3. Fulfillment is about ‘self’: meeting your own needs – truly LIVING

Imagine experiencing those three factors… Life would be great – wouldn’t it?

We made the definition even more specific for our own personal usage. For that, we reflected on our ‘what’ (what we care most about), on the ‘how’ (how we want to live), and on ‘ourselves’ (what makes us feel good). This is what we came up with (a very personal definition):
‘We, Patrick and Anne-Marie, feel successful if we do our best to help others thrive, while thriving self, and having fun in the process’.

This definition does not provide an ‘unreachable goal’ (whereas trying to be perfect is unattainable). In addition, it encourages us to live the life we desire the most, day after day.  
When we wonder ‘am I successful enough?’ we just have to check: have we really done our best to help others thrive, while thriving ourselves and while having fun in the process? If the answer is yes, we allow ourselves to say ‘yes – we’re pretty successful’. If the answer is no, we know what to focus upon the next days and hours.


What would your definition of success be?


Contact us if you want us to boost you or your team and develop the mindset for sustainable success