Success means fulfillment: What makes you happy professionally?

Reading time 8 minutes
Success means fulfillment: What makes you happy professionally?

Nothing in life is free, and success certainly isn't. Well, has anyone ever told you that? Every successful person has put a lot of work into his life and invested sweat and tears. But who actually determines what success is? What does a successful life look like and how do you best get there? Questions upon questions ... But don't worry, we have the answers!

How do you define success?

You are successful when you have achieved something you set out to do. In the psychology of learning, success is seen as a reinforcer that makes it more likely that you will engage in similar behavior again in the future. At the same time, success has an activating effect because it feels like a reward to you.

Since the 1930s, Lewin and Hoppe have been investigating the conditions under which success or failure occurs. They found that the typical feeling of success does not occur if the task was too easy to accomplish. The same is true if you don't see yourself as the cause at all because, for example, you got a lot of help from others.

Only when you can fully attribute the result to yourself will you feel the success inside yourself. You are proud of your achievement and have learned which behavior leads you to the goal. You internalize this and can recall this behavior again and again when you find yourself in a similar situation.

The problem of the distorted image of success

A nice house, a fast car, a leading position at work and a large, happy family - wealth, power and fame are seen as the image of success par excellence. On television, in the social media, and even in the minds of our fellow human beings, this image is firmly anchored and thus also quickly creeps into our own heads. But is this really what a successful life looks like?

According to the books and lectures of unprofessional life coaches, yes. According to them, you're only successful if you live in a villa with an ocean view, have a selection of the fanciest sports cars in your garage, and your closet is bursting with sinfully expensive fashion. It's no wonder that many people strive for just that, but never seriously question whether all that would really make them happy.

But surprise: There is no universal image of success. You are successful if you lead the life you have always wanted. Success means fulfillment. So go into yourself and ask yourself what really makes you happy and what your dream life really looks like.

good luck exam

What are the types of success?

You've probably already noticed: not all success is the same. This is not only because it is a subjective matter. Success comes in many forms and can permeate your entire life - be it in your private or professional life.

1. personal success

You have personal success when you achieve something that you have set yourself as a goal out of your own initiative. You have invested a lot to reach this personal goal. Why did you do that? Perhaps because you are currently dissatisfied you have the urge to get ahead in life or simply want to make a difference. The drive for success that comes from personal drive is often the most intense.

Often it is the family or the partners who cause this aspiration. You want only the best for them and therefore make an effort every day to make your life more beautiful. To do this, you are not above overcoming the biggest hurdles. Emotional attachment is one of the greatest driving forces of human beings. In addition, your family gives you the support you need to master the path towards success.

Maybe you want to reach higher levels in your hobbies. Maybe you play an instrument and want to finally manage to play your favorite piece flawlessly. Or you like to draw and want to improve your skills until you can create a painting on canvas in the style of a great artist.

2. professional success

If you were to ask a complete stranger on the street how they define success, they would most likely associate the term with a job. A well-paid job, a management position or your own company that generates high profits - these answers come up incredibly often. But again, you're successful when you can live out your dreams.

Yes, a high salary is also a kind of success, because you have invested a lot and earn the money. But you are also successful if you have a lower-paying job that simply makes you happy. The latter, however, belongs more to the category of "personal success".

Professional success is usually viewed from an economic perspective. So if you have managed to work your way up to a high position in your dream job or if your company is making considerable profits, then we are talking about professional success. The same is true if your company has expanded, if you have been able to win new cooperation partners or if you have been able to close a big sale in the office. In short, professional or economic success occurs when the Company goals have been achieved. This can be certain sales figures, the acquisition of a certain number of new customers or the introduction of new products.

3. sports success

Sports is the area where success is probably best measured. You run a marathon in a certain time, you manage to jump a certain number of meters, and you manage to swim a certain number of lanes within a given framework. Success is measured precisely with the help of stopwatches, measuring tapes and numbers. It always occurs when you top your previous performances or win in a tournament.

But especially with the latter, it is important that a challenge is given. If it is clear from the start that you will win because your opponents are clearly inferior to you, the sense of achievement will hardly be noticeable. Rather, you will feel relieved because you were able to live up to your reputation. However, if your opponents are on a par with you or perhaps even much better than you and you still beat them, the sense of achievement could hardly be greater.

Success in the psychology of man

Success is one of the basic psychological needs of human beings. We all spend our lives searching for a meaning to our existence. If we have success, we feel that we walk this earth for a reason and can make a difference if we make an effort.

But the path to success is quite complex from a psychological perspective. It is based on our own learning and development processes. We weigh up positive and negative aspects, critically scrutinize the situation and check which resources are available to us to master the challenge ahead. On the basis of this, we work out a strategy that will lead us to our goal with a high degree of probability.

Sure, it doesn't always work out, and that's not a bad thing at all. If you fail, you don't have to immediately record that as a failure, as long as you have a positive error culture live. So you analyze why it didn't work out and which factors were exactly to blame for you not being successful. From this you draw instructive conclusions and the probability that you will succeed next time increases. In this way, you stay focused, block out negative emotions and continue to focus entirely on satisfying your reward system - because nothing else is success from a psychological perspective.

What factors help me become more successful?

Success doesn't just come into your life. It has absolutely nothing to do with luck, but with pure work. Success can be planned and trained. If you are willing to take things into your own hands and change certain aspects of your life, you will soon be able to swim on the wave of success. What are these? We'll show you now!

1. set goals!

As you already know, the feeling of success comes when you have reached a certain goal. To do this, of course, you must first set one or even several. What do you want to achieve in life?

Do you want to work toward a raise? Do you want to finally free up enough time to go on vacation with your family? Or do you want to make it into the top 5 at the next marathon?

Only if you have a goal in mind, you can develop and succeed in life. If, on the other hand, you just live for the moment and don't really know where you want to go, you will never get there.

2. search for reasons

Why did you set a certain goal? Do you want to work your way up to a raise because you have financial worries? Do you want to go on vacation with your family because you feel you don't pay enough attention to them? Do you want to conquer the half marathon to prove to yourself what your body can do?

Only when you know why you are pursuing a particular goal will you arrive and celebrate success. The "why" is your greatest motivator. Without it, you will find it difficult to move forward and the road to success will drag on and on.

3. believe in yourself

Yes, you've probably heard this sentence a thousand times and maybe you're even rolling your eyes now. But hand on heart: If you don't believe in yourself, who will? If you're not convinced of your abilities and tell yourself from the start that you won't reach your goal anyway, success will fall by the wayside. Believing in yourself is essential if you want to master challenges and grow from them.

Embark on the journey to success with mental strength and sovereignty.

4. work on your mindset

If you tell yourself that your current life already contains everything you can achieve, then you will never make any progress. Of course you are capable of achieving more! It is all a question of Mindsets. If you can't imagine achieving more, it will never happen. In doing so, you unconsciously set a limit for yourself that you will never exceed if you do not dissolve it.

So have courage to dream and to give space in your thoughts to the things you want to live out deep inside you. Because what you have manifested in your mind will always accompany you through your everyday life. Every day you remind yourself of what you would like to achieve and the urge in you to finally tackle it becomes greater and greater. Like so many things, success begins in the mind.

5. set a positive focus

Imagine that for once you can finish work early. It starts to rain, so the evening with friends in the garden is cancelled. So you make yourself comfortable on the couch at home, order something from the delivery service and watch your favorite movie.

The next day, your colleagues ask you how your evening went. What do you answer? "Totally wasted and boring, because I couldn't meet my friends" or "Great, I made myself really comfortable and could finally relax"?


This is exactly where the wheat is separated from the chaff. Do you focus only on the negative things or do you put the positive things in the foreground? Your focus decides where your journey in life will lead. If you want to be successful, don't let trivial negative things ruin your day. Rather, focus on the good things in life, because they motivate you to keep going.

Are you already in?


Experience Europe's largest festival for personal development, fulfillment, business success and sustainability LIVE in Cologne! You can expect +150 speakers +10,000 participants +6 stages 


10 Business Coaching Tips for Your Career

You want to get to the next level in your job faster?

Then get 10 free tips to help you succeed in management and leadership now!
Reviewed by Dr. med. Stefan Frädrich

Like this article? Don't forget to share!

Recommended by Greator

Greator SloganGreator Awards
Data privacy
Cookie settings
© copyright by Greator 2024