5 keys that define success by Julie Furlong

I’m sure everyone is looking back onto 2020 and shaking their head. What an unpredictable, crazy year it’s been with a whirlwind of events… from the good, the bad and the ugly, to it bringing out the best or the worst in you. But amongst the chaos, I’m sure many would say, so many lessons have been learnt; so much is to be thankful for and there’s so much more to do. (Read: COVID-19 - A time for humanity, unity and kindness)

For me, it’s certainly been a time to be proud of my efforts and how I conducted myself during a stressful and disordered situation. I keep saying to myself, oh well, ‘this is a good problem to have’. The majority of people in the world are suffering, and this is not a time to complain. I’ve learnt that if at first you don’t succeed, try another way. You must keep changing, and you must keep trying, until you find the solution that works for you.

I’ve also truly learnt, that in helping others, I’ve helped myself. It’s brought a calm feeling within - a feeling of success. In fact, this experience has provided a new definition of that word for me. Understanding (even further), that material gain is only a small aspect of happiness and success. I can’t help to think that the mindset wasn’t just about working slowly and gradually and believing that success would eventually come - the reality was about being accepting, open and flexible with change. Change is the only one constant in life, in fact, trying to hold onto people or anything for that matter will make you unhappy and suffer.

At the end of the day, what I have learnt the most, is how important it is to have the right mix of people around you, and how much of an impact they truly do make on your life - especially in a time of crisis. As my company D+M (designmarketing.com.au) celebrates it’s 21st Birthday, I know now, more than ever, success is not about the amount in your bank balance. Yet, the true key to success is your own state of mind and only you can define this.

Success is a feeling within you and your own satisfaction of knowing that you have tried your best, even if it did not lead to the best results, it’s about feeling proud for your own efforts and achieving some goals along the way. No one can do this for you; feeling happy and satisfied within yourself is up to you, the answer is inside you, not relying on others to make you happy or validate you. (Read: Focusing on these 3 areas will lead to a happy life)

Success is about courage, the courage to manage the things or people that stress you whilst not putting so much emphasis on it - understanding that it is yet another challenge to learn something. It’s about taking a long-term perspective, and becoming experienced at moving out of your comfort zone, and not being afraid to make a mistake. You will only learn from mistakes and when you do, admit it was yours. (Read: 6 Inspirational ways to become a brave person)

Success is about compassion and honesty realising we are no more important than everyone else, everyone feels the pain of something bad like the pandemic, losing income and/or your job, becoming sick etc. Being honest is part of success as it reveals you have integrity and are worth doing business with… with words that can be trusted. Your character will last forever, be sure to make it count.

Success is about learning, never stop learning and doing things you love. It’s not about perfection, it’s about effort. If you just make an effort to learn something little each day, it will add up over time. Most things I have learnt have been from doing, and it takes years to do.

The truth is that you get to write your own definition of success, its only about you and your own goals, from your own perspective and on your own terms. The moment you define what the key to success is to you; is when you stop trying to constantly please others and meet their expectations. Only then can you find true happiness in the things you are already doing, or will start to do. Success has no deadline, you do not need to do things by a certain age, at a certain time, or by a certain date. Success is not a one-size-fits-all and the road to success is not straight. Like COVID; the unexpected will happen and there will be many stops and starts, turns and detours along the way – you just need to be ready for them.



As we realise that life as we knew is no longer and that it’s time, more than ever before, for humanity, unity and kindness; we all must rely on one another. We need to lean on each another, trust one another, be compassionate and understanding, but most of all, we all need to take a hit, whether it be big or small.


When I think of what makes me happy, I think about being satisfied with what I have and what I’ve achieved. I think about my friends, family, partner and celebrating their successes as well as my own, I think about how satisfying it is to be financially independent and being able to pay my own bills, I think...well I think a lot of things really. Find out more on these three areas which will lead you to a happy life.


Show up as yourself and start learning to avoid the fear in your life. Don’t pretend, just be who you are. Say to yourself, this is me, this is what I am meant to be. Click here to learn how to be the person to forgive and move on. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this inspirational blog about life. I hope this creative blog helps you to be inspired and live your dreams, developing some good life habits and positive thinking. The intention of this creative and light-hearted site is for you to live a better, happier life that enhances your own emotional intelligence skills, based on my own life experiences. Please enjoy!




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