Crush Your Career Goals

Changing the Definition of Success

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success definition
Table of Contents  
  1. Show Notes

How do you define success?  For many it’s making a certain amount of money, driving a certain car, living in a big house.  But that is changing.

The actual definition of success is “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.”  That gives us a little more leeway than defining it solely based on making a lot of money. If your aim was to get to work on time today and you did, you’re successful!  Success can be measured in small things too, not just a big bank balance or fancy vacations.

For some of us, success could be defined as freedom.  We talked about this is in Episode 34.  Matt defines success this way, he wakes up when he wants, starts work when he wants, takes a vacation when he wants.  Those of us doing the 9-5 office grind can’t say the same.

I'm successful, I'm here. Where's the beer?

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Happiness is a good indicator of success.  And as a study showed, the sweet spot of happiness is earning between $50-75,000 a year.  Those making more did not show increased rates of happiness.  So as the cliche goes, money doesn’t buy happiness.

For millennials, the definition has already changed.  Much to the chagrin of marketers, real estate agents, and economists, they don’t care about things like home and car ownership the way their parents and grandparents did.  They care less about society’s expectations and more about happiness, building community and creating sustainability.  Not exactly music to the ears of the corporate overlords.

The most important thing to remember about success is to not let anyone else define it for you.  Success is not judged by those looking in from the outside but by what makes you happy.

Challenge to you all.  In one paragraph, tell us how you define success and e-mail it to  We won’t use your last name.

Show Notes

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Back in Black IPA:  An American IPA with rich, dark malts.

Betterment:  Be successful at investing.

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Candice Elliott - Senior Editor
Candice Elliott is a substantial contributor to Listen Money Matters. She has been a personal finance writer since 2013 and has written extensively on student loan debt, investing, and credit. She has successfully navigated these areas in her own life and knows how to help others do the same. Candice has answered thousands of questions from the LMM community and spent countless hours doing research for hundreds of personal finance articles. She happily calls New Orleans, Louisiana home-the most fun city in the world.
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