Everyone wants to be successful. But what does that mean? How do you know when you have achieved true success?

I’ll never forget a trip I took several years ago to interview some potential engineers. We flew in a private plane, a major improvement over driving. It felt good to arrive in the morning and complete the interviews, knowing I would be back at home that same afternoon. That is, until we started to leave.

There was a plane taking off ahead of us: a private jet. They only needed about half the runway to take off; we needed every foot of it. I remember thinking how much better it would be if we only had a jet.

Not long afterwards, I moved to a better position with a different company. We had a jet. I felt I had arrived.

That is, until one day we were in Florida getting ready to fly home. We were delayed due to a thunderstorm, and we had to wait it out at the airport. It was a small airport, and there were several other private jet owners and pilots waiting out the storm. I overheard our pilot speaking with another about how nice his jet was compared to ours. I could sense some jet envy in the air.

It wasn’t long before I was looking at other jets wishing ours was bigger and faster, with more luxurious leather seats.

Just when I thought I had reached the darkest shade of jet envy green, I heard an elderly lady asking her pilot which jet they were taking that day. He replied, “Well, it’s such a short trip, I thought we would take the small jet.” I finally realized there was no end in sight.

First, I felt good about flying rather than driving. Then I wanted to upgrade to a jet. On my first trip in the private jet, I wished for a nicer jet. Then I was envious to hear that someone had a choice between two jets.

Every time I got what I wanted, it quickly became not good enough.  My definition of success was refutable.  It was based on possession.

Irrefutable Success is different. It is defined as being in a continual state of doing the absolute best I can, with what I have, in order to have a positive influence on other people.  That is the kind of success that pays huge dividends in your life.

We all have positive and negative influences on each other, whether we know it or not.  It’s only when we are intentional about having a positive influence that we shift the pendulum away from the negative. The outcome is nothing short of miraculous.

Today, I measure success by the quality of impact I have on those around me, and not by the quality of leather seats on a private jet. I’d rather drive, anyway.

Are you experiencing the miraculous sensation of Irrefutable Success in your life and work?  Do you believe it’s possible?