How Do You Define Success?

Quote by Jim Rohn "Your Level of Success..."

At my first Team Red, White & Blue event on April 1, 2017, I was asked, “How do you define success?” Without hesitating, I answered,

Success is being a great parent, spouse, friend, colleague, and having work that inspires me to get up each morning with excitement.

Why I Started Learn to Be Great
Team Red, White & Blue JBLM – April 1, 2017

The military taught me a lot about myself, but it wasn’t until I prepared to retire from the Army back in 2014 that I realized that I had focused more on “accomplishing the mission” than becoming a better person. 

The military encourages self-improvement. At the time, I thought it meant professional development rather than personal development. I worked hard, put the mission and organization first, and cared for others (with tough love) but I really wasn’t a great person or a great leader.

Financial Freedom

Financially, I’m doing okay, because I receive a military pension for which I’m forever grateful. I am financially independent, meaning I have enough residual income to cover my required living expenses. This gives me the luxury of not having to work if I don’t want to.

But I want to be financially free. Because I have a young family (I had a late start in parenthood), I need to preserve a certain life-style. My family does not live lavishly. We eat well, we eat out, and we have our “lattes” too.

I just don’t want the need for financial security to influence the work I choose to do.


I have a great wife and kids, but I struggle with some emotional baggage from my past that sometimes comes out. I can’t suppress it, and neither can you. We’ve got to get to the root of what’s causing us to struggle in life. Often, it’s the story we tell ourselves about our past. I’m working on reframing how I view my past to get on…and it’s working!

I haven’t appreciated my family and friends as much as I should, but I’m going to fix that. That’s a promise.

Jim Rohn’s quote sums it up the best:

Your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development because success is something you attract by the person you become.

My Journey

I’m embarking on a life-long journey to be the best person I can be. Sounds cheesy, right? You may think that this is something I just realized, but it isn’t.

I’ve been working on personal development for the past three years by:
  • reading a lot of blogs and books
  • listening to a lot of audiobooks and podcasts
  • watching a lot of Youtube videos on personal finance, fitness, nutrition, motivation, etc…

But knowledge without action is just unrealized potential.

Take Massive Action

I’m acting upon everything I’ve learned and continue to learn. If I can inspire you to develop personally and achieve success, however you define it, that is your gift to me. I know what I’m saying resonates with some of you.

How do you define success?

Please share and leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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  1. Great and introspective post Darren 🙂 That’s great that you have a military pension and are retired at such a young age. I think success is probably defined differently for everyone, to me I think it means that you have set out to achieve what you intended to achieve, as in having integrity and doing the best that you are able to do with your ability.

    1. I really want to get others to think about what success looks like to them. That way, they won’t have any regrets, hopefully, when they look back on the lives they’ve lived. I still work because I have young children and want to provide a comfortable life for them. We definitely don’t splurge because I want to keep them grounded. It is nice to have that pension, though. I know you guys are working towards it as well.

      Thanks for stopping by to comment. I appreciate it! 🙂

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