Define It, Post It, Live It

By Sheryl Nicholson, CSP


Sheryl Nicholson, CSP

Sheryl Nicholson, CSP

Are you successful? Will you be successful in the future? Do you have a time line and set goals to that end? Well, let’s paint a different picture.

Let’s say you were given a few days to live and you were lucky enough to be on your deathbed, surrounded by the people you love. Each of you could say the things you needed to say before you left this world. Would you be able to close your eyes and say, “I was successful in my life”? Well here’s a question for you. Why in the world would you want to wait until the last hours of your life to realize you’re a success?

I want you tonight when you close your eyes to say, “I’m a success”. And tomorrow, live it. To make that a reality certain steps need to be taken.

Step One – Define It

To be able to live it you’ve got to define it. How would you define success? That definition will be modified throughout your life but it needs to start somewhere. If you don’t take the time to define it for yourself then you’ll buy into other people’s definitions and they will begin to maneuver and manipulate you to live their definitions.


“You’ll never be a success around here unless you put in a 60 hour work week”

“If you’re serious about the job then you’re expected to entertain clients in places you’d rather not be”

“It’s simple. Don’t let people around here know you have kids if you want to advance. It’s your job or your family. You can’t have both”

“You’ll have your retirement to take all the vacations you won’t be taking here. 

These are real statements that have been said to real employees. Without having your own clear definition of success, guilt, “should” language and manipulation become powerful tools in the hands of others. When you KNOW what your definition of success is, it makes it easier for you to make better choices that will help in getting a life…balanced!

 Remember I said your definition would be modified in life? If you asked my teenage son to define success he’d tell you “Success in driving a Porsche and living on the beach.” A man friend once told me, “No, success is owning the Porsche, the house on the beach and have two years income in the bank so at anytime you can say “take this job and shove it”. My Mother defines success as “If your children call you on Mother’s day and remember to send you a Birthday card, then you’re successful.”

What’s YOUR definition? Define it, Post it and Live it! 


About Sheryl Nicholson, CSP:  CSP Sheryl Nicholson is an International Professional Speaker and Author.  She has been doing training since the 1980s and also has a private coaching business.  She is known as a People Productivity Expert focusing on skill development in sales, leadership, time management, goals, communication, and life balance.  As a private coach she focuses on Successful Presentation Strategies.