Many years ago, I heard a phrase that changed my way of thinking, especially when it comes to communicating with others. Having done teaching, preaching, and training in several different environments, I have seen the truth of it play out. It is:

Definitions are relative.

It’s a simple statement. It may seem like a diplomatic, wishy-washy statement.

But it is true.

They way that you define something shapes the way you act and react to it.

This is one of the problems in life. We see or hear about someone acting a certain way, and it seems contrary to what we “know” to be truth.

For example, one of the sources for the problems between religions is their definition of terms. Terms like “grace,” “salvation,” “baptism,” and even “faith” vary from religion to religion. They can vary within the different Christian denominations; even within denominations, there are divisions with different definitions.

For people to communicate properly, there must be an agreement of definitions.

Everyone involved needs to be using the same definition and have the same understanding.

When it comes to success, people have different definitions and ideas of what success is, what it looks like, and how to achieve it.

When you hear the phrase “successful person,” what do you think of?

  • Does it relate to money?
  • Does it relate to popularity?
  • Does it relate to career?
  • Does it relate to family?
  • Does it relate to religion?

Do you see how definitions of success can vary? There is usually a core idea of what success is that would run through all of them.

Definitions can also vary based on situation. Is success the same for a person as it is for a company? How about a child verses an adult? School verses workplace?

So it comes down to this…

I say all this to ask you what your definition of success is. When I ask this, I am looking more for the personal side of success, not necessarily business success. But I also want to leave it open because the the lines between personal and business can often be blurred.

Share your definition of success below!