How do you define success?

Even before I became a lawyer, the measure of success I learned in law school was becoming a partner at a big law firm. That was it. No options. No negotiation. If you didn’t do that, you weren’t a successful lawyer.

I’m not sure about you, but I never had a desire to be partner at a big law firm. Not because I don’t think I could, but because it just isn’t for me. There’s nothing about crossing that finish line that excites me. That’s not the race I’m running. Plus, I didn’t want to kill myself and sacrifice time with my family to get there.

What I’ve learned over the last several years is that success is very personal. What it looks like and how you achieve it is entirely up to you. And how someone else defines it has no impact on your definition. We’re all running our own races.

I love a good diagram, and this one is a great depiction of what we’re taught success is versus a better measurement.

Everyone’s success pie will look different and be filled with different things. That’s ok. It’s amazing, actually. What a change it would be to show law students (and each other) there’s another way. There’s not one path to success but rather it’s whatever you define for yourself.

How do you define success? What’s in your pie?