Samantha McDonald

I have found that people rate being successful on such a diverse range of benchmarks.

Success: An achievement in relativity

I finished a coaching series with a client this week – let’s call her Anna – and I was really proud when she listed her achievements over the past 12 months and reiterated how successful she feels.

Her new company has almost doubled its turnover, she bought herself a new Mercedes, and she’s just put down the deposit on her new home, which is one step off her ultimate dream home. Pretty impressive!

Then there was another client – let’s call him Jarrod – who told me during the week about his own success. When I asked him for specifics, he said he got to spend the whole weekend with his two-year-old son, playing Daddy, and it felt awesome!

So, it got me thinking… What exactly is success, and how do we measure it? Unabridged (v 1.1) quotes “success” as being: the attainment of wealth, position, honours, or the like.

Yes, but what does that really mean? To me, success is a state of prosperity and abundance. That could mean monetary wealth to some, or maybe status within a community, or possibly the achievement of a specific goal.

Personally, I know I’m successful when everything is in alignment, when everything sits well with my value system, and I feel good within myself. I believe we create our own outcomes, and so we should celebrate every success! And even though success means something different to each individual person, it all still feels the same.

Let’s face it… Anna must have felt great when she turned the key in the ignition of her new Mercedes, not to mention how she’ll feel when she turns the key to open her new home!

And I bet Jarrod’s reward of playing with his smiling son for a whole weekend made him feel pretty much on top of the world too!



Jodi Clarke at writes: Well done Sam, let’s hope the readers reflect on their idea of success and realise that your acheivements don’t always have to be too great to make you feel successful. Great read, look forward to next weeks blog (pressure!!) NOW I bet you feel successful.


Michael Gaffney writes: Great blog Samantha!

I’m guilty of not recognising success in unexpected places. Often I rely on some form of tangable feedback before I can allow myself to enjoy the fruits of my success. Now I try to go searching for even small accomplishments, and am very deliberate with my acknowledgment of achievement. Only today,I smiled at a stranger, and got a free one back in return. Success!!!

I believe Australians are becoming increasingly more focused on family, friendship and fun and less on money and material items. Where money was once the currency of a ‘successful’ life, wealth is increasingly being measured in happiness, sustainability and connection. Meaning is the new money!

I look forward to next weeks blog, this weeks will be tough to top! (bit more pressure!)


Melissa Jackson writes: Your comments on success bare all so true. The big question is “what is success??”. Too many of us feel this is measured by monetary rewards.

I am a sole parent of two gorgeous little girls and success to me is a pay off. It is when I can reward my girls for their patience and understanding of juggling working full time and being mum with a great holiday at the end of the year. This creates so many happy memories, which makes me feel not just a provider but someone who creates memories that will last a life time. It is then that I feel successul!!


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