What is success?
What is success?…well i am often amazed by the idea of people defining success as being rich or having tons of money
It’s very strange, because many of the people who think this way are harried, stressed and, frankly, pretty miserable.
The way I see it, everybody’s definition of success can be mapped on a simple grid, with one axis being the amount of money that you have and the other being the amount of happiness in your life, like so:
The way a lot of people think, success should be defined as follows:
To my mind, however, a much more sensible definition of success is:
There are two reasons why this definition is better. First, there’s no point to being rich if you’re not enjoying yourself. Second, you’re more likely to get rich if you’re happy doing whatever you’re doing.
Being unhappy, of course, can definitely spur people to action. However, the action should be pointed at trying to become happier–not trying to become richer, in the rather naive belief that being rich, in and of itself, will make you happy.
Needless to say, if you’re struggling to put food in your mouth and keep a roof over your head, none of this applies. When you’re just trying to survive, you’re not thinking about happiness.
Even so, I’d rather be poor and happy than rich and miserable.
Of course, all things considered, I’d prefer to be rich and happy rather than poor and happy. However, I believe that it’s easier to get rich if you start from a place of being happy–with what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
For example, I spent few months in marketing. However, while I was doing good by most people’s standards, I wasn’t particularly happy–because there was always a voice inside me saying that I was born to be a writer, not a marketing parasite.
When I made the leap to writing full time, my income dropped heavily. Even so, I was far happier doing what I knew I was supposed to be doing rather than pursuing a career that to many people would define “success” and I defined success as being happy rather than being rich.
I’ve noticed this pattern with almost every really successful person I can think of. I can’t think of a single person who’s pursued a career purely because it’s lucrative and who’s happy as a result. They may be rich, but they’re losers
Doing What You Love
Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. – Albert Schweitzer
Following Your Own Path
A successful life is one that is lived through understanding and pursuing one’s own path, not chasing after the dreams of others. – Chin-Ning Chu
Living Each Moment
Life is a succession of moments. To live each one is to succeed. – Corita Kent
Success is not measured by what a man accomplishes, but by the opposition he has encountered and the courage with which he has maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds. – Charles Lindbergh
Treating People Well
Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people — your family, friends, and co-workers, and even strangers you meet along the way. – Barbara Bush
Excelling in Multiple Areas of Your Life
I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles. – Zig Ziglar
Doing Your Best
The man who has done his level best, and who is conscious that he has done his best, is a success, even though the world may write him down as a failure. – B.C. Forbes
Seeking and Finding Love
The person who tries to live alone will not succeed as a human being. His heart withers if it does not answer another heart. His mind shrinks away if he hears only the echoes of his own thoughts and finds no other inspiration. – Pearl S. Buck
WHAT DOES SUCCESS MEAN TO YOU?
I would love to know what success means to you. Does one of the above quotes hold a special significance to you? Have I missed any important ingredients in the potion of success?
So….. what is success to you?
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