Gail McMeekin

Defining Heartfelt Personal Success

by Gail McMeekin

We begin at the starting gate, but we need to know what event we are signing up for. We must select the right path for our journey.

In my over 25 years of experience helping people to heal and create the life they want, I have been struck repeatedly with how essential it is for each of us to do the necessary soul searching to design and live by our own definition of success.

In this celebrity/media crazed culture we live in, it is easy to get confused about quality of life and take the time to craft a success that has meaning for you.

Defining heartfelt success is a very personal and unique endeavor.

I have worked with hundreds of clients who have been tortured by the agony and confusion of living according to someone else's values, misconceptions, scripts, or formulas. Just because your mother thought you were overly dramatic doesn't mean you are, or even that it's a liability.

While the media or your family may worship fame, money, entrepreneurship, or corporate ladder-climbing, none of these guarantee happiness for you unless you freely choose them. Yet, we all deserve prosperity. The starving-artist syndrome serves no one.

Fulfillment in life means knowing what we want while appreciating what we already have. And having the self-worth to think independently and create a life that's original and right for you.

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Webster defines success simply as "a favorable or satisfactory outcome or result." I like to add the adjectives "heartfelt" and "personal" so that you can visualize results that express your true self. Whether you are 24 or 84, it's time to stop the lies.

For example, I have a client now who keeps brainstorming with me about ideas for this elaborate consulting business. But, if you look at her overall life goals, she really only wants to work 20 hours a week. So that eliminates a myriad of her ideas, at least at this stage.

The best time management strategy in the world is to let go of fantasies and work within your own boundaries.

Successful people focus on the outcomes that resonate for them and revel in the joy of that heartfelt, personal set of goals.

This month, take an hour to reflect and identify your own definition of success that expresses your self-knowledge, your loves and dislikes, your energy level, your recipe for balance, your values and life mission, and your chosen lifestyle.

This process gives you a guiding light of clarity to rely on daily, as you transform your life, one success strategy at a time.


  1. Write down and/or make a visual representation of personal and heartfelt success for you.

    Include your thoughts on career, money, health, friends and family, romance, personal growth, fun and recreation, organization and home, and of course, your creativity!

    If you are stuck on this exercise, please refer to any my Conari books or my free e-book The Path to Creative Success at for an abundance of stimulating exercises to facilitate a vision for you.

    Even if you have done a similar exploration before, do it again. Our world has changed significantly and so have you, and it's time to update your vision.
  2. Meditate on this process and see if you can discover a symbol of success that will serve as a metaphor for you. One of my clients sees success as a wild kangaroo running free in Australia, while another sees success as a cushy lounge chair.

Once you find your symbol, figure out a way that you can interact with it daily and watch how much clearer and focused you are!

Gail McMeekin is the CEO of Creative Success, LLC, and the author of a brand new book The 12 Secrets of Highly Successful Women and the best-selling book The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women, as well as The Power of Positive Choices and the Creativity Courage Cards.

She splits her time between Orleans and Boston.

Visit her at

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