What does being successful mean to you?

“Success without fulfilment is the ultimate failure”

Tony Robbins

The above quote by Personal Development legend Tony Robbins is one that resonates extremely well with me.

For me, success is all about living a life on your terms, doing the things that you love, and enjoying yourself in the process. And I believe that this is something that when you are a student you should also be able to achieve too. It can be easy to get drawn into the slog of late nights in the library and endless revision…but that won’t last long until burnout kicks in! More about that here.

‘Enjoy the process’ is something that you have no doubt heard loads of times before…and for good reason. If you are pursuing towards an academic goal which is genuinely meaningful to you, you should most definitely be having fun along the way! You don’t pay £9,000 a year to have a s&%t time after all!

Here at Semester, we love what we do and we like the fact that this venture challenges us personally and allows us to grow, whilst also positively serving others. It’s allowing us to build on all of the experiences we had as students and offering them straight back to you so that you too can become top of the class without draining yourself with endless monotonous study!

Success ultimately means different things to different people, which makes it a difficult subject to fully define. And to add to that point, is success actually a subject…or is it in fact an experience?

For one person success could be earning as much money as possible when they leave university, whereas for another person it could be being qualified in their chosen field so that they can perform important and lifechanging work for others…From this example you can see the vast difference that success can be. Answering the above question then, success is most definitely down to our own personal preference and is therefore 100% an experience. An experience of which we determine and can create.

Success is most definitely subjective, which is why it is a question I would get you to define for yourself. Stop for a second and think.

“What does success mean to me”?

When we can identify what this is, we can then get to work at creating the goals that are significant to you. Take a minute now to jot down on some paper what success means to you and then brainstorm around it. Are your goals aligned? Are you on the right path?

This is one of the critical aspects of self-awareness that will help you to remain on the right track in your studies. It is ok to change course, it is ok to change paths, but self-awareness is key, and this is a significant part of personal growth in general.

Another one of my favourite quotes regarding ‘success’ is:

“Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal”

Earl Nightingale

Which essentially means, achieving something which you set out to achieve. Goals which are important to you. These are not goals which you think may please society, your partner, or your family. These are goals which make you feel fulfilled. As a student if success to you is creating as many memories and experiences along the way with little regard to the class of degree you get…then that is success regardless of what anyone else says. Just because most people want a high grade from their time at university, it doesn’t mean that you should feel pressure to achieve that too. That is their picture of success…not yours.

Paul Mort (another one of our favourite coaches) explains that he once came to the realisation that he had climbed to the top of the wrong career ladder which left him feeling an immense amount of dissatisfaction. He had become ‘successful’, but in an area which was less meaningful to him and as a result his mental health suffered. This is not saying he did not make a success of a previous industry, (in terms of he had become his own boss, done well financially, and was living the ‘dream life’… or how society expects us to see what the ‘dream life’ is) but it did not give him the joy he expected it to. He since changed this path and excelled in the world of coaching, finding this brought him so much joy. This is success to him. He could have easily ploughed on conforming to social pressures, continuing to do what others expected because “that’s what everyone wants isn’t it”. Simple answer…no. We are all unique and as such we have unique definitions of our own success.

The above is just one example but there are so many people chasing the wrong dreams. Therefore, it is so important to identify what success means to you.

Another way in which you can identify this is to understand your values. As part of the Semester Student Planner there is an area dedicated to this. What do you value most? Money, fulfilment, less hours studying, banging social life, high academic grades? A life in academia, a life in volunteering? There are so many variants, but it is key that you understand what is important to you.

Again, stop for a second now and on a piece of paper also jot down your five most important values! (Once you have your Semester Planner you can jot these down in here to remind yourself daily).

When it comes to defining your meaning of ‘success’, I am also again going to reiterate the need to ‘enjoy the process.’ For us at Semester, we believe that we should always be ‘moving the goal posts.’ This means that when we hit a goal, we will then set another. This is not saying we should not celebrate wins and milestones (another big part of the Semester Student Planner), but the reality is we should always be looking to push ourselves and set new challenges and goals. The reality is that when you set a goal that has an end point…it feel nice for a minute or two, but usually you think “is that it”. Most of the enjoyment actually comes from getting there.

We often see this with examples of where people reach their ‘ultimate goal’ in life and then can suffer with mental health issues very soon after. Take Tyson Fury as an example, he achieved everything he ever wanted in terms of winning the world heavy weight title, he did it. However, the question then arose…now what?

Having goals gives us drive and ambition and is a big part of our fulfilment not only during our academic life, but as long as we live! Therefore, we should be consistently looking to push ourselves, but it is critical we enjoy the process on the way. Ensuring you are chasing goals relevant to you is a huge part of this.  Put simply, you will enjoy the process even more if you love what you are doing! And an easy to find what you love doing is to first determine what success means to you.

We are not here to tell you what success is or what it means to you…because quite frankly we haven’t got a clue what your version of success is! However, once you understand what yours is, we want to help you achieve it. You must understand that you can reach your full potential and there is nothing limiting you. There are tools available which mean that you can ultimately reach those goals which you desire and for us now…helping you to achieve them is what success is to us. The Semester vision being helping students live a life of success and fulfilment and achieve their greatest dreams.

So, to conclude, and reiterate this message…what does success look like to you?

Get a picture of this so clear that you can focus all your energy into setting out to achieve it and make sure that you are enjoying your journey on the way.

As always if you enjoyed this blog, please let us know. Also share your journey with us so that we can build a community of fulfilled go-getters.


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