What is success?

What’s success?

When people talk of success, they mainly mean material success, an impressive job title or lots of followers on social media. Many people think that success in business is if it achieves its yearly profit targets, but would you work for a company which just focuses on money? I wouldn’t. Would you want to live with someone who is only interested in money? I wouldn’t. What does a successful life mean? Setup key performance indicators (KPIs) for a successful lifestyle.

What’s success?

One thousand people, a thousand different definitions of success. How can you be sure on the last day of your life, that you’d be able to say you’ve lived a successful life? You need to know what it means for you. Is possible to measure a life's success? I follow my own framework for a successful and harmonised lifestyle.

What are your KPIs for a successful lifestyle?

Businesses define KPIs to help them monitor their objectives, determine if things are getting better and make smart decisions. KPIs are strictly defined and measurable. Let’s setup some KPIs for a successful lifestyle. Lifestyle includes career and material success but it’s not limited to these things. KPIs can help make better decisions about your entire life. I created a framework which focuses on 6 main areas of life which make people happy, successful and fulfilled.

KPIs

Let me introduce you to some KPIs that can help you reach a successful and harmonised lifestyle. What it exactly means for each person can be different. I hope the explanations give you an impulse to reuse or adjust the table below for your personal needs.

Look at the tables and answer each question on a five point scale. No one can realistically answer every question with ‘strongly agree’, but the point is to identify your current situation and where you want to improve.

Let’s check each category: 

Health

This is more than just not being ill. Health includes your sleeping habits, your energy levels, your stress levels, your physical activity and your mental state. If you carry on doing what you’re doing now, how healthy will you be in 5, 10 or 20 years? Today’s the foundation of your future.

How does your employer support health and well-being at work? Check out my other blog. 


Health KPIs

​I have enough energy every day.

I’m in a good shape.

My stress level is low.

I rarely feel bored.

My internal motivation is very high.

I very rarely suffer anxiety, depression or burnout.

I exercise several times per week.

Quick tip: 

Choose one thing which you can do daily that will improve your health. Small steps done consistently can lead to big results.

Relationships

Family and friends, these are the relationships which are most important, where we give and receive love. It’s about emotions, common experience and a good laugh.

Who are you sacrificing for your career?

A KPI for family and friends would be based on the amount of quality time spent with them. What do you most value doing with your partner, children, parents and friends? How often do you have time for them and are you fully present? Which people make you laugh, make you feel a real connection, discover new things or have a deep discussion?

Relationships KPIs

I can recall many good experiences with my family over the last 2 months. 

My family is my first priority.

I have time for my family and friends on weekdays.

I’m a positive influence on other people.

It’s important for me how other people around me feel.

Quick tip:

Are you not spending enough time or you can’t recall many good experience with your family or friends? Could this be the right time to take responsibility and plan something interesting for this week?

Money

Money is important and I don’t think it’s evil. You need money to cover your basic needs and to fund your dreams. However at a certain point there’s no longer a correlation between happiness and money. A US study found no increases in happiness once a household earned more than $75k a year (a roughly middle income in the USA). Rich people aren’t happier than people with average salaries.

Many people make a mistake, they decide how much money they need to be happy. On the other hand, how will it look, if people were to first decide what makes them happy and then decide how much money they need to achieve it?

However a career should not only fit to your money requirements, it needs to fit to your lifestyle. If you manage to align your career to your self-development goals, your health and your relationships. It will also harmonise your lifestyle. You need to enjoy your work and feel fulfilled.

If you’re looking for a job, define your dream lifestyle and then find a job which fits to it.

Money KPIs

I prefer experience over material things.

I have my finances under control.

I’m able to cover my and my family's basic needs.

I don’t fight with family or friends about money.

I have enough money for myself and I can support my favorite charities and good causes.

I have a job which I enjoy and I’m paid according to my expectations.

Quick tip:

Only 13% of people feel happy and engaged at work. Are you amongst them? If your answer is no, sit down and write out what your dream job would look like.

Joy

Having joy has to be one of your ultimate goals. Doing things that you like is clearly one of the best ways to feel happy. These things can be called hobbies and cover several areas: hobbies for health, creativity, social life, spirituality or adventure.

Weekdays can be busy, but it’s very important that we focus and optimise our weekdays to experience joy on these days as well. 

It’s not possible to predict all things which will happen to you, but you can decide how you’ll react to them. Feeling happy is a choice.

Joy KPIs

Everyday I do something that makes me happy. 

I surround myself with people who bring joy to my life. 

I believe that it’s important to have different hobbies and I action it. 

I know what makes me happy. 

I bring joy to others around me.

Quick tip:

Find time for things which make you happy every day. If you think that you can’t find time for it, think about something that you can fit into 15 minutes.

Self-development

If you don’t think that it’s important to become the person you’re capable of being, you’ll probably be unhappy all the days of your life. Did you or other people draw an imaginary border for what you can achieve?

The mindset of many people suggests that you should feel comfortable all of the time, this is supported by adverts on TV. The issue is that your dreams lie behind the border of your comfort zone. It’s important to fall in love with being uncomfortable.

What are your big dreams? How can you make sure that you open up your full potential? If you don’t stretch your competencies we will never grow. People who excel in life tend to have a growth mindset, self-development is part of their daily routine. They are not afraid to leave their comfort zone. 

Here’s some examples of a growth mindset:

  • Challenges help me to grow.

  • I can learn to do anything I want.

  • Failure is an opportunity.

  • I’m inspired by the success of others.

  • I like to try new things.

The last bullet is the most crucial part of a growth mindset. When we’re exposed to novelty, our brains release the ‘reward’ chemical dopamine. Each new stimulus gives you a little rush of motivation to explore as your brain anticipates a reward. Trying new things give us more courage, confidence, experience and joy.

Self-development KPIs

I have a growth mindset.

I enjoy leaving my comfort zone.

Everyday I learn something new. 

I try new things often. 

I know what kind of person I would like to become.

Quick tip:

Try reading a book that’s not your usual choice. 

If you don’t normally pay attention to your self-development, the easiest thing is to buy a book from a different genre.

Quick tip:

Try reading a book that’s not your usual choice. 

If you don’t normally pay attention to your self-development, the easiest thing is to buy a book from a different genre.

Spirituality

Spirituality doesn’t have to be about god or religion, I define it as the time spent reading, thinking and relaxing, or having interesting conversations. These things help you detect your values and big dreams. People sometimes feel guilty allowing themselves time for spirituality as it doesn’t have a direct utility.

The bigger you dream, the more talent gets released from within you as you get closer towards it. 

Spirituality KPIs

I know what are my dreams and I follow them. 

I understand my abilities.

I know what are my values. 

I try to get a bigger picture by learning new things.

I’m a role model for other people.

I have interesting and deep conversations with people.

Quick tip:

Where to start? Write down your dreams. Check my blog for available tools and step by step guidance.

Lifestyle improvement

Improving your lifestyle is a three step process. The first step is to understand where you are now. The second step is to understand where you’re going and what specifically each KPI means for you. The third step is to work out how you get there. You can’t talk about ‘how’ before you know where you’re going. 

Carry out this exercise every now and again and see if your answers change for the better.

Where to go next?

Check how to better deal with changes