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How do you define success?

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Well, this is kind of personal but since I don't have time to write a full blog about it, and I need an outlet, I'm posting it here for whatever it's worth.
3 years ago, June 26th 2011 No: 1 Msg: #139247  
"Don't worry, those are successes defined by society. At least you have your own definition of it and happy, though sometimes not, but it'll pass."

A pang of doubt and "what-am-I-doing-with-life" crap suddenly filled me when I caught up with a friend and learned she's already making a name for herself along the lines of our profession. It's the same with my other batch-mates.

I could be one of them but instead chose where I am now. I often tell people that we all have different paths to follow and should not actually compare what we're doing or achieved with each other. However, I could not help at times (like right now) to feel otherwise. A friend who is somehow on a similar road as I am sent me the above message when I told her my sentiments.

How do you really measure success? Is it with what you achieve in your career? financial gains? personal life? personal happiness? etc.

[Edited: 2011 Jun 26 12:38 - fateundermined:153556 ]
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3 years ago, June 28th 2011 No: 2 Msg: #139314  
B Posts: 72
Living long enough to spit on the graves of those oily bastards who spent their time trying to tear you down. We're all gonna die soon enough, and there's only two ways to measure a life: by length and by experience. The first is determined by earthly revolutions and nothing else, and in the second each person can only be his own judge. So who cares what other people think? As you lay dying, you're the only person who will be deciding if your life was good or bad. Screw the world and do what you want. All that you need to live will come to you in the ether, in some way or another. Reply to this

3 years ago, June 29th 2011 No: 3 Msg: #139394  
I really appreciate your reply. Thanks for that!

Anyway, I shook it off already. I'm happily back to my old self. Reply to this

3 years ago, July 2nd 2011 No: 4 Msg: #139550  
I absolutely love this question!

In life seek happiness. Life is short and you need to make the most of it.


First I would like to state that I agree with the philosopher Dag.
You are the only one who can answer this question as it is individual for all of us.
Experiences enrich your life.

I'm in the over 50 crowd (although not but much) and have a lot to say about success and how to measure it. I was raised to grow up, work hard, save for retirement and "be successful". In my family success was measure by money and position or power. I did all those things and have been successful in my career. For the most part I have enjoyed my chosen path and have been content if not happy the majority of the time. However, with that said---in my career I've had times when I wondered "is this all there is." When you are building a career there are times when it is not as fulfilling as others. (personal opinion)..... my belief is that is why they call it work and not vacation.

Years ago I told my husband that my goal was to take a year off and travel the world before I was 50.... he laughed--- but I set the goal, began to save and that is exactly what we did. It was a magnificent experience. I cannot explain the way it has enriched and changed our lives.
But it has also made us restless and we are no longer as content doing what we were doing before our travels. The flip side to that is that we earn enough money to travel to exotic lands (when we can get off work) Looking around at friends who have lost their homes, lost their jobs, lost their savings --- I am grateful to be in my chosen field because it provides stability.

I think it is good that you have had an opportunity to compare yourself to friends----- I believe that reflection and self evaluation is vital. You may come to a cross roads when "you" want to do something different. Only you will know. Just because you take one path does not mean you need to stay on that path your entire life.

I have re-invented myself several times and it keeps me fresh.

For me, I needed financial stability and I have that......and now it allows me to travel. I personally didn't want to end up 80 years old and not have a roof over my head.

We took the trip around the world because I didn't want to be 80 years old and ask why I spent my entire life focused on my career and didn't do some travel. I did not want to have regrets.

I agree that success needs to be defined by you and not society. I found my balance and I'm certain you can find yours.


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3 years ago, July 2nd 2011 No: 5 Msg: #139551  
For my son, being successful is making a lot of money so that he can buy anything he wants (starting with a Ferrari) and not have to worry about anything. I tell him that riches do not bring happiness (although I was surprised to read that some of the happiest people live in Vietnam). After having enough to satisfy basic needs (and a Ferrari is not a basic need), and I'm not talking about Maslow's heirarchy of needs, having a family that loves him, having real friends that he loves to do thing with, and helping others will most likely bring him more happiness than material possessions or status. I don't agree that my son can define success as he currently has, because he think that his definition of success will bring happiness. He will have to learn from experience.

As for myself, I was like Merry Jo. I wanted financial security and professional recognition. Once I was financially secure with a pension that would adjust for inflation, which was sufficient to take care of my family and allow me to travel, I didn't want to make more money by working more years. As for professional recognition, after retiring I found that all my awards were worthless. No one will ever see all the plaques on my office wall. Reply to this

3 years ago, July 2nd 2011 No: 6 Msg: #139554  
B Posts: 72
I'm hardly a philosopher!! Just someone who's been through that himself. It took a lotta years before I finally realized that someone else's problem with how I live my life is someone else's problem, not mine. Reply to this

3 years ago, July 2nd 2011 No: 7 Msg: #139566  
Success to me is living your life to your own dreams

if your dream is to sit behind a desk counting numbers and pile the money in the bank, do nothing with your life but die rich - well done you are successful

if you dream to have a comfortable life (moneywise) and travel the world whenever you can and enrich your life - well done you are successful

Life is what you want it to be and like the others say, only you can choose, your path to success whatever that is.... Reply to this

3 years ago, July 4th 2011 No: 8 Msg: #139650  
I do agree with a lot what others already said ;-)

Success is a measurement of your happiness and fulfilment not only a career level or wealthy bank account otherwise people who do what they love and don't get paid very well would be losers and they are clearly not!!!! there is a lot of people considered very successful because of their status but they have no time, love or fiends to share this status with ;-) I admire everybody who goes against what the 'system' tells them to find their own happiness and fulfilment;-)
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3 years ago, July 5th 2011 No: 9 Msg: #139710  
This is an interesting question indeed.

Having been part of the rat race, I have found that over the years, the simpler my life becomes, the more pleasure I get out of it. I think the biggest moment of clarity came when I realised that money is actually the root of all evil and can turn the meekest of people into murdering psychopaths. On this very day, I grew up and realised that the acquisition of wealth and material possessions reduces you to nothing less than a slave to the god known as 'Money' and decided that while I might need it to survive, I was no longer going to prostrate myself before this 'god' like a drooling, sub-servant sycophant!
Now, after living in Vietnam for 2-1/2 years, I can honestly say that I have never been happier or felt more contented with my lot. I'm surrounded by people who are full of joy, who smile constantly, who take pleasure from the simpler things in life and display a nationalist fervour that puts most of us to shame. While I still do shamelessly covet my Internet connection. I don't watch TV, I don't play video games and I don't waste my time on worthless, puerile pursuits. I try instead to use my time to cultivate my garden, develop a deeper understanding of the natural world around me, communicate with others and take pleasure in life itself.
If I was to pop my clogs tomorrow, I would go knowing that deep within me, I have made something of my life and that my own personal desire to find fulfillment is something that I have worked hard for and can be proud of.
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3 years ago, July 11th 2011 No: 10 Msg: #140017  
To me success is getting what I want without having to sacrifice my integrity. If obtaining something means doing something unworthy of a man then the price would have been too high. Reply to this

34 months ago, October 3rd 2011 No: 11 Msg: #144391  
B Posts: 211
I measure success by how content I am. I have learned to lead a simple, peaceful life, which counteracts the chaotic, evil one in which I work. I often feel the odd man out when conversations turn to the Jersey Shore (what the hell is a snookie) or the latest Lululemon fashions around the water cooler, I prefer interesting discussions on world events, nature, travel, and therefore seek like-minded who aren’t caught up in consumerism and unnecessary drama. Contentment is hard to achieve when you are bombarded with messages telling you what you need, what you want, what you should do. Like my parents used to say, turn off that TV and go outside!! Straying from the norm is not the popular way, but it is the most fulfilling way. Reply to this

34 months ago, October 3rd 2011 No: 12 Msg: #144423  

34 months ago, October 3rd 2011 No: 13 Msg: #144446  
Hey fellow Blogginites...

To me Success in life should never be determined by anyone except yourself as pertaining to your personal life. Everyones definition is different because we all think differently about a wide variety of topics, I would say in my own opinion Success is defined by how truly happy you are in your life...If you want to be a millionaire and bust your but to get there and make it, that's successful, If you want to wander the earth and see some of the most amazing places and meet the most amazing people that to me is successful because you are HAPPY!!! not content with life!!

thanks everyone! Reply to this

33 months ago, October 9th 2011 No: 14 Msg: #144751  
In light of the death of Steve Jobs, I would like to share some very inspiring words he delivered at Stanford's 2005 commencement activity.

His words all ring true.

You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for work, as it is for your lovers. Your work is gonna fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking and don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And like any great relationship, it gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking. Don't settle.



You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something -- your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.



Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your Heart and Intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.



[Edited: 2011 Oct 09 12:03 - fateundermined:153556 ]
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33 months ago, October 9th 2011 No: 15 Msg: #144754  


Steve Jobs was a visionary and left his mark on the world. Reply to this

33 months ago, October 10th 2011 No: 16 Msg: #144800  
Enlightening and visionary indeed, however, I don't think that the Chinese workers in Apple's Chinese sweatshops would see things in quite the same way. While Steve Jobs may well have followed his dream and be defined today as one of the world's most successful businessmen, succeeding off of the backs of those who are less fortunate, many being driven to suicide because of the demands of having to live and work in such places, leaves a rather bad taste in ones mouth.

I find myself to be absolutely astonished by the way some people have reacted to his death, you would have thought that he had found the cure for cancer or another debilitating disease. While in his earlier years, he was undoubtedly a pivotal figure in bringing computing to the masses, towards the end it seems that Steve Jobs's only dream was to keep his loyal flock of iSheeple supplied with the latest, overpriced 'must have' gadgets.

He may have been an inspiration to many, but words come cheap. Unless you go through life treating others, no matter who they are, with the respect they deserve, then I really don't think that you can say that you have succeeded at all.
[Edited: 2011 Oct 10 03:30 - Cockle:46288 ]
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33 months ago, October 10th 2011 No: 17 Msg: #144851  
TOTALLY agree @ Nick C! I'm not an apple person to begin with so to me he was just another CEO and rich person who made billions off the sweaty back of outsourced labor factory workers.

Sorry if you take that to heart Steve Jobs lovers, but it IS the truth! Reply to this

33 months ago, October 13th 2011 No: 18 Msg: #145059  

In response to: Msg #139247

I guess youre friend is right, those are societies definitions of success. But everyone has different needs and wants so my definition is if you want something, you work hard and achieve it, then you are successful. That might be to own a rum shack on the beach, to be a high flying corporate lawyer or to be a stay at home mum and raise 10 children... i'm sure none of those people think the other is successful but if thats what they want to do and they are happy doing it...its all good So i do hope the very same for you )) Reply to this

33 months ago, October 19th 2011 No: 19 Msg: #145541  
B Posts: 848
Fantastic topic. Success..having done the hard yards to be in a position of enough financial security to let me do what I need to do, the thing that makes me truly happy is travelling. I have a job that allows me a lot of leave and a decent income so I can travel when I want. I am also lucky enough to have a job where I make a difference in peoples lives, and thats a special thing. I have few material needs, but the need for adventure and freedom is something that I can fulfil without starving or inconveniencing anyone nowdays. At 45 I agree with DJM and Bob..so true..no one actually has ever commented on the awards or degrees on the walls of my office. Thats not success.

Tam - so true. Everyones success is different. A friend said to me yesterday she was more than happy to live vicariously through my travels and had no interest in hurtling through the skies on a banned airline before a ten hour boatride. She is a homebody and loves her life. I have often felt guilty at the people I leave behind but my kids have grown up with me travelling so just see it as something their mum does. I understand people may be worried about me, but it is their choice to worry and stress instead of having a bit of faith in my ability to get myself to and from places. I could get hit by a bus tommorow without spending airfare and doing it in a foreign country - would be a lot less hassle

I dont want my last dying thought to be..I wish I hadve.

I want to live boldly and that is what makes me happy, so as Andrea pointed out..if happiness is a measure of successfulness..then I guess im on the right track. Reply to this

33 months ago, November 1st 2011 No: 20 Msg: #146272  
Steve Jobs key to success:

1) Greed is good
2) Don't give to charity
3) Be Vindictive and ruthless (fire all the employees who p*ssed you off and use slave labor )
4) Don't acknowledge the existence of your love child so you don't have to pay child support
5) Steal others ideas and take credit for it
6) Screw your friends

Four words that best describe Steve Jobs - World Class VISIONARY a$$#0!e

I can't understand why so many people look up to this guy.

Ok, he designed cool gadgets ... so ?

[Edited: 2011 Nov 01 06:59 - wanderinghobo:220159 ]
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