How Defining Success is a Choice, Not an Expectation






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How Defining Success is a Choice, Not an Expectation



3 steps on how to define your own version of success


What is success? It is being able to go to bed each night with your soul at peace” – Paulo Coelho


What does success look like to you? How would you define it?


Everyone’s definition of success is different because of how we choose to measure it. For some, it’s about money, power, and respect. For others, it’s about family, joy, and freedom. No matter how we choose to define it, we need to ensure it’s in alignment with who we are at the core.


For 15 years, I spent too much energy chasing the epitome of success as defined by social, economic and cultural norms. Or simply put, living up to others definition of success.


By external factors and expectations, I was deemed successful. While, I had some wonderful opportunities working in corporate America, internally, I was fighting an ongoing battle.


Then, one day I decided to pay close attention to the whispers of my soul. The cry for help came in the form of anxiety, migraines, insomnia, and depression. It was my heart, mind and soul’s way of telling me I was out of alignment. Spent. Overwhelmed. Burnt out.


Suddenly, things I thought that mattered didn’t matter as much. I knew I needed to make a choice. Therefore, I shifted my focus from how others measured success to how I choose to measure it.


Now, I spend time serving something greater than myself. As a speaker and personal development coach, I help people define their version of success and achieve aligned excellence. I believe we can strive for greatness by living in our essence and pursuing what we love. Thus, elevating success in every area of our lives and creating a more meaningful, fulfilling life.



Awareness makes all the difference” – Miguel Ruiz


Here are three steps on how to focus on what matters most to you:


Being self-aware is key


Self-knowledge is the first step in achieving higher levels of success. Being self-aware helps to know and understand yourself on a deeper level. Thus, helping to determine what matters most to you.


Everyone goes through different life experiences, circumstances, challenges, etc., which plays a significant role shaping who you are and letting go of what no longer serves you.


Understanding your personal evolution helps you recognize when change is needed, then acting on it. Self-awareness is an ongoing process and essential to the evolution of success in every area of your life. Jeff Bezos, once said, “what’s dangerous is not to evolve”.


Be captain of your ship


No one else can determine-nor should they-things that are important to you. Often times, we spend too much energy on what others may think or say about us. While they may have your best interest at heart and you value their opinions, it should never hold more power over your own.


By letting go of external factors and expectations, you’ll begin to experience inner peace and freedom to pursue what you want. Whether it’s a new job, career or entrepreneurship, commit to being captain of your own ship for a more successful journey.


Intuition is your compass


Listening to your intuition is key to navigating the rough waters of your path. Let it serve as your compass, guiding you to what aligns with your authentic self.


By slowing down and being still, through prayer, meditation, etc., you’ll start honoring your intuition. And, the more you practice it, the more you’ll begin to trust yourself to make choices that align with you.


How will you know your intuition is serving you? Intuition is a state of feeling and flow. You’ll know you’re on the right path because it feels right.


“Success is a journey, not a destination” – Arthur Ashe


Based on my own experience, I know defining it is a choice, not an expectation. We can lose our jobs, money, and titles yet we can always get them back. Time, on the other hand, is one commodity we could never reclaim.


Therefore, what path would you consider if you thought it would bring you greater joy?


Martha Ramos is an entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and life coach. She’s dedicated to helping modern professionals embrace their inner boss and define their own version of success.

A former media and marketing executive, Martha spent over 12 years helping Fortune 500 companies such as Colgate-Palmolive, Kraft, Ameriprise Financial, Unilever and Mary Kay create award-winning campaigns. Follow Martha on Instagram @mramosofficial