For a long time I have wondered what it is meant to be successful, and I finally stumbled upon the answer. It is both simple yet unexpected. Many people confuse the means for the ends of this goal. They believe the more money you accumulate the more successful you are.
Success is controlling how you spend your time…If you get there by doing what you want to be doing and it makes you happy, then I consider you to be successful. ~Peter Cohan
However what is the real point of getting money? Unless you are some kind of money hoarding Grinch it is about using that money to do what you want. Money is needed for security, and then essentially freedom, it doesn’t equate to success in and of itself. If you can gain money while doing what you love or find meaningful, that is a huge bonus and things are simpler for you.
For those who work financially lucrative jobs but don’t necessarily love what they do for a living, they have the extra burden of deciding what they want to do with what their job affords them. The rub of the matter though is that we will never be or do everything that we want to do. Even if you were the type of person with laser like focus and willpower, you wouldn’t have the time to accomplish what you wish you could. There simply is not enough time.
What success boils down to is time-management, before that we need to understand who we are and what we want to leave behind. Time is a finite resource for all of us, and do we wish to just float along on a breeze, being pushed one way or another by circumstance or the daily minutia? Of course this is also dependent on understand who you are: what do you want, what is meaningful to you and what do you wish to leave behind once you’re gone? The only obstacle (if you’re lucky) is yourself, especially if you are a procrastinator or a self-doubter.
Ask yourself, what can I be doing right now to further improve my life or to further my goals? The answer can be murky—but you should be mindful of the question at all times. Otherwise we end up on the trap of life’s momentum, in a situation outside our own making wondering where the years went.
I would suggest making a list to dump your to-dos onto, and then prioritize them. Follow it, reevaluate your goals and the efficacy of your means to reach them. There are hundreds—if not thousands—of tools out there for this purpose. Some use a pen and notepad, which is fine, as long as you don’t lose it and that you stick to it. I personally use a command line program, taskwarrior but the decision on which tool to use is entirely up to you.