Dr athena brasfield

How I Define Success

What is your definition of success?  Is it income, money or business goals?  Or, is your definition of success more time with family or happiness?  Some people define success as having all the money in the world.  Others define success as simply having happiness and the ability to share your experiences and time with loved ones.

What is your definition of happiness?

Success is measurable but happiness is limitless!  Success is earned and measurable, while happiness is achieved and limitless.  All over the world, there are millions of entrepreneurs.  Many of them are idolized by society’s definition of success.  Unfortunately, many of these entrepreneurs are still not happy.

Why is that?

As the owner of a successful optometry practice in Southern California, I definitely have much to be proud of.  But my definition of success and happiness might be different for others.  How you define success can depend on your personal beliefs and mindset.  The truth is that, we can have all the money in the world but we can’t have it all!

In today’s society it is hard to ignore the countless social media images, videos and posts of people posting flashy cars, items or even money!  Many people spend a life time trying to define success by other peoples standards and ignore their true definition of happiness.

So what is your definition of success?  First, you need to ask yourself, “What is happiness to me?”

My Definition of Happiness…

Many successful entrepreneurs dedicate many hours on building their businesses and brands that they often forget about their personal lives.  Is the pay off really worth it?

Seriously, what’s the point of building your business and brand if you don’t have anyone to spend your successes with?  Family relationships and personal health are often negatively affected when entrepreneurs are in the midst of growth.

Is building your business worth the potential long term affects?  I understand you want to make more money so your family can live a better life.  But this point of view is commonly disagreed on.  Placing more emphasis on your business means potentially reducing effort in your personal life.

If you want more time with your children, you may loose some momentum in your business.  If you want greater business success, then dedicating more time on business strategy and networking is what you need.  It all essentially boils down to what you really want and what motivates you.  I know this sounds simple but this is one of the most common issues entrepreneurs struggle with.

Here are some things I think you should ask yourself:

  1. What is your motivation?
  2. What is your definition of happiness?
  3. What is the “freedom” number which will allow a better family life.
  4. What do you value the most? (Time with family, work, business, helping others)
  5. If you lost everything tomorrow, what would you do to stay happy?
  6. What are 3 things you want to spend more time doing?
  7. Are you happy?  If not, what do you need to be happy?
  8. What are you truly passionate about?

These questions will enable you to gain insight to what you are truly passionate about.  Many entrepreneurs get so caught up in the day-to-day that they forget why they started in the first place.

Many people spend a lifetime doing what they absolutely love even though they struggle financially.  It’s not money or success that drives them.  It’s something else…


A great example of this is our amazing teachers.  I define success as the ability to live my life in a way that I feel passion and pleasure and little pain.  When you live your life in this manner, everyone around you will notice!  By pursuing our passion in life and defining what happiness is for us, we can find joy and massive amounts of success.

So How Do You Create Happiness?

  1. Do what you love doing
  2. Don’t compare yourself to others
  3. Make a list of what makes you happy
  4. Surround yourself with those who make you smile
  5. Be thankful for what you have.  Practice daily gratitude
  6. Help others, even if you have nothing
  7. Always have something to look forward to
  8. Create experiences with those you love
  9. Don’t sweat the small stuff
  10. Know when to say “NO”
  11. Take time for yourself
  12. Smile more!


Defining your vision of success is very important and allows you to set boundaries and move forward on things that really matter.  Do what makes you happy and if you are not happy, then change your mindset and your situation.  Remember that you can never have it all, so define what ‘enough’ is and what you need to be fulfilled.  Your goals and priorities may change from time to time so make sure to revisit these questions and your answers on a regular basis.

Hold on to your passion!  Keep the window of happiness open by doing what you love.  No matter what happens in your life, you are always more valuable and important than that situation. 

How will you define happiness?

Comment below!




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