I’m curious to learn if your definition includes contingencies

It’s common for us to have a range of qualifiers, for example I’m winning if this certain thing happens, or if I get this specific something like a job a holiday.

I remember Tony Robbins once described this exact type of situation when he was interviewing two people, and he asked them what it would take for them to call themselves successful. 

The first man who responded, who was already considered extremely successful, said that he would need to achieve specific things, including making a certain amount of money per day and exercising a certain length of time each day. He actually had significant requirements for what would make him be successful in his own mind. 

Interestingly, he wasn’t happy with his level of success.

The second man essentially said, ‘if I’m alive today, then it’s a success!’ He shared that he felt happy most of the time.

What a contrast! 

The point that Tony was illustrating is that the person who had really high expectations in order to be successful was not very happy. And that ultimately,

our happiness depends on our definition of what it looks like to be happy. 1

As a side-note, I’m curious to learn what the ‘health-score’ was/is in other areas of the two mens’ lives, including physical, emotional, relational, creativity etc.

After listening to Tony’s words, I took his message to heart, and it’s made a big difference to how happy I feel on most days. 

It’s not to say that I don’t stretch myself and set big goals – of course I do! (Not least the big 11 day hike I’m planning for late 2021!)

What I’m getting at is that it’s given me a perspective that’s helped to increase my own happiness. I suspect it’s also influenced the way that people I connect with experience me. I no longer feel as though I’m always running to catch up on an infinite to-do-list, or as though there’s something missing somehow. 

So, what’s your definition of being successful?

And what does winning look like for you?

If you found this concept useful, please do share, and, as always, I look forward to seeing you on this week’s #AliveWithFi 🙂

1 It’s vital to determine how we define winning in terms of what being successful means for ourselves. Sometimes, when we examine what we’ve been holding ourselves to, we might spot a different perspective.

As Lauren Pope writes in her reflection on this topic: “those goals weren’t hopes or ambitions; they were sticks to beat myself with. They were born from negativity: I’m not enough; I don’t do enough; I don’t have enough.”

So instead of striving to meet unfulfilling standards, we can choose to define success by focusing on what truly brings us joy and delight.


“What Does Success Look Like to You?: Setting the Right Goals for the Right Reasons”

L. Pope, (2019)

Fi Jamieson-Folland D.O., I.N.H.C., is The LifeStyle Aligner. She’s an experienced practitioner since 1992 in Europe, Asia and New Zealand as a qualified Osteopath, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, speaker, educator, writer, certified raw vegan gluten-free chef, and Health Brand Ambassador.
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