What does success look like?

Traditionally, being successful meant having a good job title, a good salary, a big house, nice car etc. This is the system we have been programmed into from a young age in the Western world. You go to school, work hard to get ‘good grades’, go to university, coming out with lots of debt and with broken promises of a full-time career in your field once you leave, usually working for someone else’s dream.

I recently met with someone, a very ‘successful’ corporate lawyer on paper, often working long into the night until 6am, sleeping in the office and back at his desk at 8am. When I asked how did he relax, his answer was falling asleep in front of the TV on the sofa!

So what does success look like?

Is a job that pays well, has a ‘good’ title, but that you don’t really love, demands long hours, with little time for yourself, really worth the expense of your health, happiness, relationships and social time?

‘We sacrifice our health in order to make wealth, then we sacrifice our wealth in order to get back our health’ – the Dalai Lama

But then you wonder what does success look like. Begin thinking of your TIME and ENERGY as your most valuable commodities; you can never get back your time, once it’s gone it’s gone. Choose wisely how and who you spend your time with.

While studying my holistic lifestyle coaching course with CHEK Europe (see resources for contact on CHEK courses), one of the questions we had to answer was to identify our top three priorities and our core values and I often wondered what does success look like!

I surprised myself, that I actually had no clear idea of what does success look like or what my top three priorities were or my core values. I vaguely knew, hence I was getting ‘vague’ results in my life and attracting ‘vague’ relationships, not quite knowing the direction I wanted to go next in life and feeling completely overwhelmed, confused and un-grounded.

With the ability to get quiet and listen to my intuition, I was able to list my top three priorities, which I live by today. I will share them with you here:

  • My health – my health is my wealth. I firmly believe this; having vibrant health changes the way I move, feel and operate in the world. 
  • Living from a place of passion and purpose – this fuels the fire inside me and makes me feel truly alive.
  • Love and relationships – who I spend my time with and nurturing meaningful, loving relationships, including the relationship to myself.

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 When I ask my clients what does success look like and what the core values of their business or workplace are, they can quickly tell me, but when asking for themselves, they too struggle to come up with an answer.

To clarify what does success look like, priorities are external principles guided by your internal values. For example, family, business, money. Core values are personalised and guide the way you live your life.

For example, lifestyle choices, the way in which you want to work and your overall life principles and view toward everything. All values have to be acted upon or you are not living in alignment with them.

On a piece of paper, list your top three priorities, and why they are a priority to you. What does success look like to you?

Take a look at your top three priorities; is there something in there for yourself? Often, people will give their energy and power to everything else but themselves. For example, if your top three priorities are your job, your partner, your children, there is nothing left for yourself.

Often these people are depleted because they are not filling up their cup first and prioritising themselves somewhere, perhaps carrying issues of low self-worth. If that is you, go back and re-evaluate your priorities. Fill your cup up first and then give from the overflow.

Now, of these three priorities, write out at least three core values for each one to understand what does success look like. For example:

My health:

  • Daily meditation to keep me centred
  • I eat good, high-quality, organic foods, applying the 80:20 rule
  • I need to be in bed by 10.30pm at least four times a week to feel really energised and rested

 Living from a place of passion and purpose

  • Doing work that lights my heart and soul
  • I invest in my personal, professional and self-development to continually grow and be inspired
  • I take time out to travel and experience new things that excite me

 Love and relationships (including relationship to yourself)

  • I meet up with a friend to catch up once a week
  • I have an evening to myself at home at least once a week to self-nurture
  • My partner and I share similar values.

So what does success look like?

When you get clear about your priorities and values, you will become more aware of your behaviour and if your actions are matching your values or deflecting them. The clearer you become on your values, the more aligned you can become with yourself and, thus, your actions and behaviour to reach the desired results you require in your life, should you ‘choose’ to.

If you have no idea what your values are, it is like a confused compass trying to navigate its way in the dark. Once you get clear on your values and priorities and continue to check-in with them on a daily basis, you will soon navigate through life, reaching your desired results much more quickly.

As you write down your values, think about where you need and want to experience more of this value in your life. How are you demonstrating these values? For example if your value is vibrant health but you are eating greasy takeaways every other night, then this is sending confusing and conflicting messages to your subconscious.

For example, to feel vibrantly healthy, I will prioritise at the beginning of the week to have a few go-to ingredients readily available in the fridge so that I can put a healthy meal together quickly and not be tempted by takeaways.

What does success look like?

When you get clear on your values, you get to redefine success for yourself. What does success mean for YOU? Not what society, your parents, peers, colleagues think it is for you. Everyone has his or her own timing. You are in control of your destiny; take back your power, get back in the driving seat and enjoy the game of life.

As these values cement into your life (and they may of course change over time as you continually evolve), it will help you to get clear on what you want to attract in every area. I recommend sitting down and writing out your core values for every area of your life: lifestyle, health, relationships, work, family, home, finances and self-care time.

Francesca Blechner
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Francesca Blechner

Holistic Heath & Wellbeing Coach


I am the founder of Wholistic Body Life, a holistic health approach to restoring harmony and balance in a fast-paced world. I have 20 years experience in the field of fitness, holistic health and well-being. I’m passionate about helping others thrive physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually in modern-day life, having experienced the edge of burnout many times in the past as a Personal Trainer.

I’ve helped thousands of people live healthier, happier and more fulfilled lives from all walks of life; from Royalty, celebrities, business leaders, new Mum’s and teenagers. Appearing on the local news and national radio. I work with clients all over the world through Skype and in person, running group workshops and events and working on retreats in the UK and abroad. My new book, Self Care for Life in the City is due out January 2020.




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