Are you Successful? How do you know?


Are you a Winner or are you a Loser?

In sports, there are clear rules and regulations to determine who wins and who loses. Life isn’t that simple. As human beings, we might all be able playing the same game, but we’re definitely not playing by the same rules.

Success according to is:

  1. the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one’s goals.
  2. the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.
  3. a performance or achievement that is marked by success, as by the attainment of honors
  4. a person or thing that has had success, as measured by attainment of goals, wealth, etc.
  5. outcome

Success by these terms is achieving one’s goals and accumulating wealth and status. These seem to be good general guidelines but still lack personal specificity. Life is not one size fits all, it needs to be tailored for a custom fit.

Society may thrust popular ideals of success on us but we are not passive victims to the status-quo. The beauty of life is that we are not left powerless. It’s our choice to accept or reject these standards. We possess the ability of interpretation to decide what every experience means to us.

Defining what success is in our lives in each area and overall is paramount. If we haven’t done that then how can we measure if we are successful or not? Success for me may differ than success for you.

Success is subjective to every story.

A chapter in my story was high school. An era when I underachieved. Missing many classes is an understatement. My absences would accumulate for days, weeks, and even in some instances months. I didn’t show up, so there’s no surprise I was failing.

A common perception of success in high school is getting 80% and above to increase one’s likelihood of enrolling in their desired college or university. That is success to the traditional education system, and not everyone fits into that. I certainly didn’t. That was unrealistic to where I was.

Success subjectively to me then was turning my 16% or 9% midterms into at least a 50% final grade. Success was just getting the credits needed to graduate. One can make the argument, “Hey James, just barely surviving high-school is not success,” and I would agree.

No one can be successful if they aren’t committed. 

I was spitting in the face of my potential.



When somebody finds themselves in a hole, whether self-inflicted or not, the first step is winning back the moment. Climbing in the now. Positioning oneself correctly in the present to return to where you are called to be.

I just barely graduated high school a year late. This low-level success for me was perceived unsuccessful by most of society, but it positioned me for an opportunity for greater success. A year and a half later, I set a goal in my community library that I would attend the University of Toronto for Professional Writing and Communication.

To achieve that I enrolled into an adult education centre. It was at this institution that I attained the 5 university credits I needed while learning lessons from the people I connected with. At this time and place success for me was above 90% in each class. I came up short of that standard in one course.

At the University of Toronto, success for me moving forward is above a 3.0 G.P.A for each semester. But success for me at university isn’t just about grades. It’s more about learning about myself, sharpening my strengths, and adding value to the people I meet along the way.

Hey, even If everyone thought that only a 4.0 G.P.A made you successful, it would have no power over me. Success is subjective and once personally specified we can be empowered by living on our own terms.

At different phases in our lives our view of success may differ, but what’s important is that we define it. You should know where you are better than anyone else. Don’t be a slave to the standards of everyone around you. Define what success is in each area and overall in your life.

What is Ultimate Success in your life?

Let’s say one man is a business genius and financially free, is he successful? In that area yes, but what about ultimately? What if that man is critically obese, has a broken marriage, and his kids hate him? Is he ultimately successful?

Life’s not one-dimensional; it’s multifaceted. We are called to manage many areas of life simultaneously. We must balance all these sectors in the pursuit of success: the mental, the physical, the professional/financial, the relational, and the spiritual. It is in mastering this balance that ultimate success is manifested.

For me in high-school there was no vision of ultimate success which was why I didn’t achieve it. In adult education there was a standard of success in a certain area, but not overall for my life. Ultimate success can only be reached when defined.

Is it possible that you can be successful before you’ve fulfilled your dreams?

I see success not necessarily as just an endgame, but rather a state of being that completely pervades one’s life. Can someone successful as they achieve victories in the battles along the way, or are they only deemed successful by winning the war?

I feel success is deeper than just wins and losses. Success begins in the mind. It’s the good and bad experiences along the way that provide the character, habits, and mentality that build you into the person you need to be to attract success. I invite you to harness your imagination and write out what success is for you in each area of your life. Doing this will birth your vision into the physical realm.

The clarity of knowing where you’re aiming is essential to hitting the mark.

Are you Successful?

Maybe you’re unsure, but be sure of this, the answer to this question – all depends on you.

Even if you fall, Activate Your All.


10 thoughts on “Are you Successful? How do you know?

  1. Wow. This post was very necessary for someone like me, at this current time. Let me start by saying that you did a great job of painting a good picture of what real success is. It’s not a universal term that applies to everyone because like you said, we don’t play by the same rules. Everyone is different. I struggled with the concept of being different my entire life. I think, look, and act different then most people. My goals and the way I see the world is also very different. Based on these differences, my world, and definition of success is different.

    I appreciate how personal you were in this post as well. It isn’t often that people are willing to share that type of information with others. Just like you, my definition of success has changed as I grew up. I under-achieved in high school as well. Back then, I really thought success was just surviving the horrors of life. However, my definition of success has evolved, just like it has for you in this post. One thing is for sure, success depends on the person who wishes to achieve it.

    Great job my man.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes Tyrell, you got it brother. I appreciate you taking the time to share your perspective. You know you better than anyone else, so why live your life by the standard of another person? You are different, you have you have experiences, skills, abilities, desires, and a personality that is uniquely your own. Your difference is power when you embrace the fullness of your authenticity.

      I am glad you have received value. If you need anything Activate Your All is here to serve you. You will keep growing and changing until your last day on earth. Your definition of success for each area and overall we need to reloaded to match who you have become. All the best my friend. Feel free to return and reconnect.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great post! I love your blog.

    I love this part:

    “Life’s not one-dimensional; it’s multifaceted. We are called to manage many areas of life simultaneously. We must balance all these sectors in the pursuit of success: the mental, the physical, the professional/financial, the relational, and the spiritual. It is in mastering all these areas that ultimate success is manifested.”

    I agree with it so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your feedback Liz, I greatly appreciate it. It isn’t always easy to balance these areas, but there is fulfillment in giving our best in the pursuit of mastery. You definitely need to be a Daily Warrior to successfully sustain all these areas.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, Ive gotta say I’m blown away by your post, thanks for putting the time into writing it! Very true words written here; I agree, success is defined differently by everyone, so my view of success is a different picture than yours. I liked how you asked if someone could be successful before they’ve achieved their goals; that made me stop and think. I feel like people can do well for themselves-physically, financially, etc.- but until they’ve reached their goals, they won’t be truly happy, they won’t feel successful. I also like your posts’ tagline, “Even if you fall, Activate your fall.” Very creative and inspiring!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Appreciate you taking the time to digest it Jake. I believe that success is a state of being in the moment and by living from that place reaching your goals is inevitable. There are overall goals, yearly goals, monthly goals, and daily goals, not all can be achieved in the moment, but you can still be a success if you’ve defined them and are following through with the work necessary to manifest them. All the best bro.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think education in schools is limited, so we really cannot define success in relation to grades of the students. Yes, in college.. having a degree in this or that might be equivalent to being considered successful. But the real education is out here, in the world. And real success is within.

    You’re doing a pretty good job, in my opinion. One indication is you got past yourself to reaching out to others. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Speak Out, it is always a pleasure to hear from you. I feel that success if personal and each individual must look within and figure out there purpose, a you alluded to in your post.

      The point of the post was to get the reader to figure out what is organic for them. I attend university, and a bit older than the norm who do, and I don’t believe that “formal education” is the road to success for everyone.

      I agree wholeheartedly, that success is within. I appreciate your feedback. Reaching others in a positive way I feel bring true fulfillment.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: The 5 States To Add Value To Everyone Around You. Why Givers Win In the End. | Activate Your All

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