When you're considering the concept of success and how to be successful in life, the first thing you need to do is to decide exactly what success means to you. Define it in clear, precise, measurable terms, and decide exactly what things need to happen in order for you to be successful in different areas in your life. Define it for each area, i.e. money, career, relationship, family, spirituality, personal development, etc.

For instance: What job would you like to be doing and how much would you need to earn from that? What type of person would you like to have a relationship with? What would that person look like and what qualities would he/she have?

The specificity is important because there needs to be a clear evidence procedure so that you can see your success happening and know it when it happens. Success is a subjective term, and it means different things to different people. The reason why so many people are not "successful" in life is that they have not clearly defined what success means to them. In other words, they have no idea what they want. And as the old saying goes, "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there."

Now once you've set out exactly what success means to you in the various areas of your life, you can make plans and set goals, both short-term and long-term that will take you where you want to go. Write these down refine them so that they are very specific and so that they inspire you and involve you on an emotional as well as a psychological level. Review these goals often.

As part of achieving your goals, you'll have ideas on what you should do and how things should be done. But understand one very important thing: if you have a big goal which is far outside your current realm of knowledge and experience, you don't know how to achieve it. You'll know you've got the goal when you reach it, but you don't know what things will happen along the way, and you can be certain that things will not happen as you planned them. There will be setbacks.

But setbacks are nothing to be worried about. In fact, they're great, because this is how we learn, grow, expand our comfort zone and improve the quality of our lives. Without setbacks or problems, we do not grow.

As you learn how to be successful in life, the best way to handle setbacks of any kind is to not think of them as setbacks, but rather as necessary steps along the path toward the achievement of your goals. If you experience a setback, then understand that there was something in it that you needed to learn. Search for that lesson. Consider the situation and ask yourself what you can learn from it. How can you use it to improve? Look at it from a different perspective. What else could it mean? What opportunity might there be in it? If you had to find something positive about it, what would that be?

Asking these kinds of questions opens your mind up to seeing the setback in a completely different light and not allowing it to stop you in your tracks.

We have this inbuilt mechanism that causes us to judge everything we come in contact with. There's nothing wrong with this. It's quite natural, and it's part of what allows us to survive. But we need to be careful when we place labels on the things that happen in our lives as "good" or "bad". We place limits on ourselves when we do this. The fact is that we have no idea whether a thing is good or bad. It may seem one way or another, but we don't know what will come about as a result of the event.

In reality, the events and circumstances of our lives are neither good nor bad; they just are. It's how we perceive and define them that makes them good or bad, helpful or destructive.

A setback is an opportunity to learn, grow and improve. Make that your new definition for setback and always be looking for that opportunity. This will allow you to meet with the success you're seeking far more easily.

Author's Bio: 

Dante Petrilla has been studying the success literature for the past decade and used the techniques and skills he learned to turn his own life completely around. He transformed himself from a depressed person to a happy person once he learned to direct the focus of his thoughts and emotions. The one thing he found that made the techniques he learned so effective was the use positive affirmations to install them into everyday thinking. Dante is also a writer who enjoys writing in the personal development area.

Dante is also a memory training expert, and has written the book How to Memorize Anything with The Secret of Your Perfect Memory which is available on Amazon. He is also in the process of turning this into an audio book, which will be available in the near future.

Dante is an AUNLP certified life coach and NLP Master Practitioner, member of the American University of NLP, and also a Global Sciences Foundation member. He is now making a deeper study of NLP in order to implement what he has learned on his journey so that he might impart that knowledge and help others.