The New (and Improved) Definition of Success

If I asked you, “What’s your definition of success?”… einstein man of value

What would be your answer?

Is it to achieve all your goals and dreams?

Is it to have lots of money, a big house, and a sexy car?

Is it to have power, fame, and people’s admiration?

What does success mean to you?

My Old (and Defective) Definition of Success

For the longest time, my definition of success was something along the lines of: achieve goals I’m proud of, help a lot of people improve their life, and create wealth, abundance and freedom in my own life.

I thought it was a pretty good definition, until recent developments made me realize that there was a problem with that definition…

See, over the last 3 months, through a lot of focus, dedication and hard work, I reached a lot of the goals I had defined as “success”.

My coaching business flourished, my online course The Superhuman Blueprint surpassed my expectations, I generated good money from my endeavours, my blog reached 1000 unique visitors/day, and The Feel Good Lifestyle Facebook Page reached 10,000 fans.

From the outside, I was crushing it. But on the inside, it was a different story…

Something Wasn’t Working…

Once I reached all those goals, I was proud of myself, sure, but to be totally honest… I didn’t feel nearly as amazing and fulfilled as I had anticipated…

My confidence and belief in myself grew from those experiences, but the increase in my overall happiness was only temporary.

I felt a “high” for a little while, but before long my mind shifted to the next goals I wanted to accomplish.

The next big project, the next milestone.

And just like that, I didn’t really feel that successful anymore.

Now, I needed to reach those new goals in order to feel truly successful.

I had to achieve more, be better, and THEN I would feel successful.

Has that ever happened to you? 

Somehow, I was trapped on some sort of success hamster wheel… and I was realizing the insanity of it all.

Luckily, the Universe always provides what we need, when we need it…

Just as I was having these deep reflections about life, success, and happiness, it was time to hop on a plane to San Diego, California, to attend Jonathan Budd’s Unstoppable Entrepreneur seminar.

When I got there, I knew deep down that something special was about to happen…

I knew that this confusion (and frustration) I felt about my lack of fulfillment despite reaching my goals was fertile ground for major breakthroughs.

I was ready.

A New Definition of Success

On the first day of the event, Jonathan got on stage…ran us through some powerful exercises… and soon shared with us exactly what I needed to hear.

He said: “What if, instead of seeing success as something in the future, something we strive towards, we saw it as a state, something that’s available to us in every moment?

I liked where this was going…

He continued, “What if we now saw being ‘successful’ as: showing up in the world full of energy, love, joy, inspiration, and appreciation for what we have and the people in our life?

What if we saw success as something we can have right here, right now, just by having the right mindset and focusing on being the best version of ourselves in every moment?

click

Upon hearing those words, something clicked in my head.

If we show up at our best every day, give our love to those around us, enjoy what we’re doing in every instant… what more can we really ask for?

Isn’t that what being successful at this big game called life really is?

Let that sink in to your being for an instant… 

Who’s more successful, the guy who’s making millions but who’s stressed out, unfulfilled, and always desperately chasing that next thing?

Or the person who’s joyfully working towards their goals with a smile on their face, love in their heart, in a state of grace and appreciation?

Life is Happening Right Now

Since that profound revelation, I’ve consciously tried to simply be in the best possible state I can, all day.

Even as I’m writing these lines, I feel light, joyful, and excited to share this with you.

I’m not wondering, “how many people are going to read this? How many shares is it going to get? How many new subscribers is it going to yield?”

Because those things are outside my control, and chasing those “successes” is only about external validation.

I’ve decided to make my happiness independent of this or that thing happening, and instead to focus on living in a state of love, appreciation and grace…

Which is precisely what makes me happy.

It’s only been a week since this has all transpired, but this week has already confirmed that my new definition of success is working out…

I’ve had some of the best conversations I’ve ever had, I’ve felt more grateful that I had in years, and some very big opportunities have appeared in front of me.

I didn’t have to force it. I just had to show up, be present and feel good.

And Here’s the Big Secret… 

If you apply this new definition of success and show up fully in every moment, all your dreams and aspirations will come true much faster.

You will inject so much positive energy into your work that the quality of your output and your results are guaranteed to improve.

Your vibration will be so high that you will attract exactly the right people, events and circumstances into your life.

You’ll be happier now, and create an even better future for yourself. Win-win!

Take a Moment Right Now… To Commit to this New Definition of Success. 

Is this something you’re ready to take on right here, right now?

If so, leave a comment below to commit to it and to let me know how you now plan to approach your success. 

With love in my heart and a smile on my face,

Phil

PS Please share this post, because that’s how more people can start enjoying every moment and be successful in the now.  

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Posted on : 28, Nov 2012

73 Comments

  • Great post, Phil! This came at a great time for me.

    • Thanks brother! The Universe always delivers just at the right time… ;)

  • Oh, how I love this! I was just having this exact conversation with someone this morning and telling her how a similar shift in my perspective has changed my life. Thank you! xoxo

    • Awesome! Spread the good word Marci :)

  • Yes yes yes! That’s it exactly, that’s what any of us truly strive for when we commit to self-improvements. When we eat healthy foods, it is with the intention to look and feel better sometime in the future, same goes for exercise. When we work or study, we’re driving ourselves towards certain goals, and once achieved, those goals will make us better somehow. The thing is, it doesn’t even matter if we never reach our set goals. Our paths can change along the way and lead us down uncertain roads. The fulfillment comes from from the journey. We must trust that we are destined for greatness, nothing good will pass us by. I have goals and dreams, and a lot of hard work to do. I welcome it all into my life and I enjoy every new experience. I am successful because I say I am! :P

    • Boom! That’s exactly it.

      Now we just have to keep that in mind day in and day out :)

      • That’s the real challenge isn’t it, to remember all the time how great and successful we are, that’s success :D

        Nobody ever ultimately understands what life is all about…and it doesn’t matter! :)

  • I just wanted to say im very thankful for this article,
    this past weeks ive wondering about the definition of success and this feeling that i could not yet find a way it didnt make me anxious and miserable.

    “What if we now saw being ‘successful’ as: showing up in the world full of energy, love, joy, inspiration, and appreciation for what we have and the people in our life?”

    I just love this, ill see to it that i make this definition of success my own, and be less posesive about my goals. Acomplishing them is no longer the sole source of success in my life.

    Thank you for sharing this!

    • Love it! It’s such a freeing way to look at things, enjoy Paz!!

  • This is exactly what I was doing a couple months ago and it really changes your whole mood and everything. I guess i stayed from the path but this is an excellent reminder and i fully commit to it.everything i do I’m going to give my all and i know good things happen when you do that.thanks for the reminder

    • Yeah it’s super easy to revert back to those old patterns and let our ego try to control everything..

      It’s not just about getting to the top of the mountain, it’s much more about climbing with a smile on our face while humming a good song along the way! :)

  • Phil, you are very right about the universe delivering at the right time! I was thinking and reading about this subject this morning as I have been contemplating how to overcome some very significant struggles I am having, and how to let go and forgive myself when I don’t fulfill the expectations that have been put on me by myself and others. This post was very helpful in reminding me that my “accomplishments” are not what make me worthy of love and acceptance.

    • Amen Casee!

      Our ego thinks we are what we accomplish, what we have, etc… But we’re so much more than that.

      As long as you’re spreading love and joy around you and staying in integrity with your values, you’re exactly where you need to be.

      Sending you lots of love and positivity!

      • Right back atcha!

  • Hey Phil,
    I noticed the same thought patterns in me. In the last weeks my definition of success was achieving goals. It wasn’t all bad because I wasn’t that productive since I was born, but I think while hunting after those goals I lost the feeling what life is really about, having fun and spend time with the awesome and unique people around me. I’m stressed in the last time, because I will finish school next year and have no real plan what to do afterwards. I want to do something great and work for the best, but I think I have to master this being greatful and happy for what I have part, too. I think you wrote something about that in the past, too. So I might look this up.

    Anyway, Awesome blogpost, really made me think !

    • Hey Hendrik,

      Just wanted to say that you are not alone. You said “I will finish school next year and have no real plan what to do afterwards.” I was in the same boat a couple of years ago. Everyone else seemed to have things figured out.

      However, I have discovered no one really knows exactly what is to come. I ended up not pursuing my major at all. I have wandered the world and I am currently in South Korea and I am going to Thailand soon. I only recently discovered who I want to be.

      In the meantime, as Phil said just do everything, with an insane amount of enthusiasm, love, energy and joy. Only good things can come from that. If you are still stuck. I highly recommend travelling and exploring different interests it has steered me in the right direction. It opens your mind and heart to the world.

      Good luck buddy :)

      PS Phil thanks for the reminder, you are great! Say hi to Boulder for me.

      • Awesome Rona!

        “I have discovered no one really knows exactly what is to come.” that is so true.. Heck, even I don’t know what 2013 has in store with me, but I know if I show up fully it’ll be friggin great.

        Love your attitude, keep shining my dear :)

        • Always ;)

      • Thailand is too close to the Philippines. Come and visit our country at one point. Anyway, I do agree that life’s direction is out of our control (but not absolute.. ” I am the captain of my soul” somehow works). Nobody knows what lies ahead. Just keep on moving and the currents will lead you to the right path. I’m a graduating student with so many plans, too much uncertainties. Life is a mystery!

    • The funny thing like I wrote is that being happy in the present, you will actually end up being more productive. So much more energy and inspiration. We think they’re separate but success and enjoying like go hand in hand.

      Keep working hard on your goals while doing all you can to enjoy the ride!

  • Love this article and definition of success. I’ve always been a true believer that if you give it your all you will always be successful ( even if you didn’t reach certain goals – at least you can look back with a smile on your face and be happy that you tried your absolute best).

    • Amen! I can’t wait to see you commit to a project 110% and see what happens!

  • What a great way of looking at success. We are taught that success is usually about “Things”, and as you mentioned the “Future”, rather than an all day feel good. Thanks for the insight and the blog post. A must do!

    • My pleasure :) Yes we definitely have quite a bit of social conditioning to overcome on this one…

  • I’ve been striving towards this constant state for several months now, and it is truly the best ever. Somehow it had never occurred to me to define success as this though. Thanks so much for this!

    • You’re welcome Megan! Keep working on it, it’s so worth it!

  • “Life is a journey, not a destination” and “… live in the present moment wisely and earnestly”.

    Old words but true.

    Thanks for the reminder, Phil.

    • My pleasure Sharyn! Timeless wisdom.

  • Yeah life is happening right now.

    • Indeed it is!

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  • hello phil.
    i started reading your posts a few months ago. im not too big on fate but i just started to absorbed in the perfect me idea when i came across your limitless post. since then ive been hooked. cold showers WAKE ME UP for school, smoothies make me feel healthy(how a human should be) and the one thing on my mind 24 7 is perfect me…ripped, actor provider..savior of the earth etc…..but its always the future…. when i get on a quit smoking zone and work out zone im into it but i just lose the motivation. i really like this successful idea because instead of future Alex having it made present Alex has to start making it. with a positive mindset anything is possible. but how to keep it? i always start off a day saying no doing this no doing that, but when time comes where i have to make the choice (bum a smoke) don’t do a paper that voice goes away momentarily and comes back to laugh at me. and solutions? ps keep doing what your doing, your making a bigger difference than you think

    • Hey Alex,

      A couple things:

      First, don’t shoot for the “perfect” version of yourself.. there’s no such thing as perfect and chasing it will only create suffering. Go for the best version of yourself :)

      Second, I would invite you to craft a 30-day no smoking challenge.. really COMMIT to it. You can also use this site: http://www.stickk.com/ to raise the stakes. Maybe set up a challenge with one of your friends who’s also trying to stop?

      • And btw, good job on the cold showers and smoothies! That’s a great start.

  • hello phil.!
    i started reading your posts a few months ago. i always saw potential in me and others. im not too big on fate but i just started to absorb in the perfect me idea when i came across your limitless post. since then ive been hooked. cold showers WAKE ME UP for school,(im 20) smoothies make me feel healthy(how a human should be) and the one thing on my mind 24 7 is perfect me…ripped, singer actor, friends, family provider..savior of the earth etc…..but its always the future…. when i get on a quit smoking zone and work out zone im into it but i just lose the motivation. and excuses just seem too legit to me (you cant do a youtube video till you stop smoking youre voice will suck)i really like this successful idea because instead of future Alex having it made present Alex has to start making it. with a positive mindset anything is possible. but how to keep it? i always start off a day saying no doing this no doing that, but when time comes where i have to make the choice bum a smoke or don’t do a paper that voice goes away momentarily and comes back to laugh at me. and solutions? ps keep doing what your doing, your making a bigger difference than you think

  • Ok, so it has proven itself again… once you are ready to accept an idea, it shows up in multiple places in your life as this post did yesterday. I’ve read about and have understood the importance of living in the now as it is all we really have, but I never realized how much my goal-setting and planning was such a strong a deterent to that concept. I am in a better place in my life then I have ever been and all my current goals would just be continuing on that journey, yet focusing so steadfast on them has distracted me from actually celebrating and living in where I am right now. I have also experienced a lot of fear in the unknown and this needs to be let go as it’s a carry over from the past, before I came to believe and know that I will be taken care of regardless of what happens. No amount of planning or goal setting will ever solely determine my future and knowing exactly what my future will hold is not what I crave anyway. I will be safe and secure in the future no matter what it holds. I will also always be better because I’ve always been better because that’s who I am- an evolving growing woman. I am now celebrating where I am now and feeling joy in what unknown the future holds. Thank you :)

    • There you go! It’s definitely a challenging concept to fully grasp, and I must admit I’m still wrestling with it at times.. but at already having this awareness is a big step forward. Cheers!

  • Clicked through the link on highexistence.com and to be frank, this started slowly (for me) and I almost bailed.

    But got into the meat of it and loved it. I could apply it immediately to my situation and benefit greatly. Even though (and because!) it mirrored my so-called “Spike Lee” philosophy that I have followed since “Do The Right Thing” was released. Which is basically the “Golden Rule”….but cooler.

    Yet I have to say, as the end neared… the marketing requests and the “share” requests turned me off. No pictures of lotto tickets to “like” and split the profits? No wounded pets or warriors to “like” and thus add to marketing lists? Yes, I am a cynic.

    Is this really a watershed moment for you or is it a convenient marketing tie-in for your books, pages and websites?

    • Hey Jeff,

      Glad you enjoyed the post man.

      Everyone has their own views on marketing (been having some interesting convos with my roommates about that over the last few days actually), and yes I am intentionally trying to promote my material, but I do so because I believe in it, and I believe that the message it contains has the power to truly help people.

      And yes, it was really a watershed moment.. authenticity is something I value highly, and I would never write something because it looks good.. you can ask anyone who knows me personally (like Jordan Lejuwaan), they’ll tell you..

    • It’s called marketing yourself 101 :)

      If you don’t ask your readers to engage, how should they know what step to take next?

      Phil is obviously sharing an amazing, useful information so why not share it?

  • Love this article!! It is always (though few and far between) refreshing to find someone of similar thinking!

    Thanks for this!

  • First off, props to your web designer! This is so user-friendly and cute. I like that you have to scroll down past the other comments to post your own because it encourages me to read what other people have to say and join a conversation.

    Now about this post, I really like this post and I think this is going to be my new definition of success because nothing makes me feel more genuinely successful than when I have joy for the moment that I am in right now. Cheers!

  • One of my issues in life is having so many aspirations, hobbies, interests, areas that I want to dive into and explore. The problem with that is that I spend more time searching the information, learning about the interest or doing all the preparation that happens before actually doing it. After reading this, I decided to dedicate myself to just DOING IT. Not thinking about it, not planning it, but just doing those things I love.

    So instead of searching for the best books to read, just pick one and read it.
    Instead of looking for the best stretching/mobility/yoga routine, just pick one and stick to it.
    Ect.

    Thinking about it now though, this is all a part of it…I needed to go through ap eriod of not doing those things so now I can finally realize that I should just do it. Thanks for sharing.

    Keep living in the moment.
    Joel

  • One of my issues in life is having so many aspirations, hobbies, interests, areas that I want to dive into and explore. The problem with that is that I spend more time searching the information, learning about the interest or doing all the preparation that happens before actually doing it. After reading this, I decided to dedicate myself to just DOING IT. Not thinking about it, not planning it, but just doing those things I love.

    So instead of searching for the best books to read, just pick one and read it.
    Instead of looking for the best stretching/mobility/yoga routine, just pick one and stick to it.
    Ect.

    Thinking about it now though, this is all a part of it…I needed to go through that period of not doing those things so now I can finally realize that I should just do it. Thanks for sharing.

    Keep living in the moment.
    Joel

  • I didn’t realized it before reading this that creating love everywhere would boost up the law of attraction. I tried to be positive all the time, but haven’t got much result. I hope this will work.
    Thanks a lot Phil. This was the 1st time i ever entered your page. It already is starting to feel good.
    Cheers :-)

  • Thank you so much for sharing your WISE words,,,may God continue to BLESS you & ENLIGHTEN your path!!!

    • Thanks brother :) Right back at you!

  • Great timing for myself considering I’m writing new year goals… new favorite site. Law of Attraction/Secret posts ever to come?

    • Travis, thanks for the nudge- I had been considering writing a post on the LoA but was still hesitant, but I’ve now decided to make that the topic of my next post. Keep an eye out :)

  • Wonderfully put Phil! Life doesn’t have to be about STRIVING towards greatness or well-being. You can exemplify/become that person day-in-and-day-out. I recently started my blog on WordPress that you told me about and around Christmas time or in January I plan to make it a real domain and really put my all into posting a feel good message not only to help others, but to help myself. I think that the way society is set up currently people feel they don’t have a place in this world. WRONG! Some of the greatest philosophers and minds dating back centuries ago will state what you stated above. Money is paper. Period. One of my favorite quotes, “Some people are so rich all they have is money.” It speaks volumes. Everyone needs to read this poem…http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/if/ it is by Rudyard Kipling and to be quite honest it’s one of the most inspirational things I have read. Happiness is truly a mindset and if you approach each situation with positivity and happiness you will find yourself much more comfortable. Thanks again for the wonderful post Phil. Keep it up!

  • Hey Phil,

    Congratulations on hitting some major milestones buddy. That is awesome!

    I think the new definition of success is certainly improved! The problem with the old one is that physical achievements aren’t eternal. The new definition is certainly better because it is focusing on serving others, not serving oneself.

    The only problem is that the new definition still puts the effort on oneself. You have to consistently muster the right mental framework, beliefs and attitude to “show up in the world full of energy, love, joy… etc.” What happens if you don’t show up in the world with these traits? Are you unsuccessful as a person, as a human being?

    We must rely on a strength greater than our own in order to be successful. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

    Keep it up buddy.

    Todd

    • Very good observation Todd.

      It’s true, relying on oneself all the time can be challenging at times. I’ll meditate on this tonight.. :)

  • Wow! I was just searching the web this morning and needed some serious inspiration. I’m really grateful I found you! I went on a cruise and every since I got back I have been feeling so down and not myself at all. I honestly have no reason to be feeling like this… I have a wonderful life. Before I left everything was great! I was the happiest I had ever been and life was looking pretty amazing. Now I just feel like I have no motivation to do anything, and its driving me crazy! I am a very self driven individual, who is always striving to be better. I just hope this feeling goes away and I start to feel like myself again. Maybe some of your blogs will help me with this. Just wanted to say I am glad I found you, and you should know that your words helped someone feel like “this feeling/ funk” isn’t going to last forever. Thanks :)

  • Makes sense! In a rutt…need to get out, this is a good start.

    Any advice to getting out of rutts for a typically positive person?

  • [...] adopting that new definition of success, we see that success is something that occurs right [...]

  • Phil, Great job again. I don’t really have much time to go through every post of yours but this one is also great.

    I used to just be happy with what in front of me, but since I started my own business everything has changed. My success was no longer about my happiness. It’s the figures, market, stats as the investor want to see the bigger numbers I keep pushing it to the goal and I am completely exhausted

  • I think this definition of success is so powerful and humbling. I’ve recently gone through this in my own personal life – where I kept on feeling ‘less-than’ because my successes were not ENOUGH or not according to what I wanted.

    I’ll be implementing this change in my mindset simply because I believe it’s SO powerful! Like your image it simply clicked into place for me.

    Absolutely love your blog (you have a fan!) :) Well done you!

  • Love this way of thinking I always hate measuring success over feeling it. The ability to feel physically different and content and happy and in love with yourself and others as well as being able to make others feel this way is success.

    Amazing articles and definitely going to share!

  • Awesome article Phil. I’ve been following your site for a while now – I have to say the quality of your articles are amazing. Keep up the good work. How do you come up with such good ideas for your articles?

  • Great article! Dude, you inspire me!

  • You’ve made some decent points there. I looked on the internet for additional information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.

  • This is just what I have been feeling for the past few weeks. Thank you Phil : )

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So, what do you think?