What is Success?

Most people measure success in terms of money but surely success cannot be defined by the thickness of our bank account only. I remember in school we used to be told that if we didn’t take our education seriously, we would not get nice jobs and therefore we would never be successful. The world always links success to material things and that is why we all think those who live in mansions and drive classy vehicles are the most successful ones.

If money is not success then what is success linked to?

Is it linked to formal education? Or talent? Is it about our backgrounds, body stature, or maybe physical appearance? Could having fancy cars, huge mansions, and castles be the measure of success? Is success to be measured by having a lot of tangibles? Or degrees? And yet here we are, all part of a society that defines success in terms of such material supply.

Success is not money because those with money disagree with that notion. Therefore do not let your money desires dupe you into thinking if you get a lot of money you will be successful. Unless if money is what makes you feel accomplished in life. In the end, money alone will not be as satisfying as you may think it will be.

Why we shouldn’t base success on material things

Basing success on material things will only lead us to frustration, resentment, jealousy, and greediness as we are always trying to outcompete one another. If you ask people who fit the conventional definition of success (having billions or millions in their bank accounts), they do not necessarily consider themselves successful because they are rich or powerful. But, they normally talk about relationships, well-being and societal impact among other things. What about those people who do not care much about fame or fortune, does it mean they are not successful?

So what are the metrics of success?

Since we can’t use the rod of prosperity or fame to measure success, how therefore should success be measured? Success is a very subjective term, with no universal meaning. It means different things to different people. To a student, academic achievement is success, to a graduate, getting a good job and a steady income is success. For some, getting married is success, for some acquiring wealth is success, for some triumphing in a war.

What if you fail to pass your exams after faithfully attending classes and completing assignments for so many years? What if you do not get married as planned or you fail to acquire the wealth you presume? Does it mean you are not successful? What about your accomplishments in other areas of your life?

Our society has set standards and definitions that make success look like a far-fetched dream for most people. A dream of acquiring massive amounts of wealth. We, therefore, grapple in despair, as we constantly compare ourselves to those whom society heralds as successful. Success is portrayed as a complicated mission only meant for a chosen few.

What success means to me

For me, success means accomplishing on a daily basis what I set myself to do which is in line with God’s purpose for my life. That gives me joy and inner peace. Whether it builds into wealth or not, that’s a story for another day. Success is not the end result but what happens all the way throughout the journey. It is a daily thing, not the ultimate goal. The final goal only justifies the everyday processes. Therefore the day you stop working on accomplishing something is the day you stop being successful.

Success is all about fulfilling your purpose, this is where you get inner peace from. It’s about liking yourself and what you do. Therefore to become more successful is to draw closer to a total state of tranquillity. The gap between your beginning state of mind and your end state of mind is the amount of success you would have acquired.

Money is not the only measure of success

Success is how well you do what you do. It means an accomplishment, an achievement, a triumph. It doesn’t mean money, or material things because money doesn’t solve the most crucial parts of our lives, our spiritual and mental health. Money doesn’t solve loneliness or depression or give us peace of mind. If money was success then suicide would be a case for the poor.

What the world calls success is an illusion, which is what we call the power of perspective. Your bank account can be large whilst you grow more and more miserable inside. You can still be a success without being extremely wealthy. The ability to feel serenity over your life and attribute meaning to things around you is success.

If at least one person can lead a better life because of you or if you are happy, should you not be considered successful? If you can leave this world a better place than you found it, should you not be considered successful?

Personal pointers on how to be successful

  1. Define what success means to you* Identify your purpose
  2. Set your goals to achieve that purpose

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other. ~ Abraham Lincoln

  1. Accomplish them and fulfill your purpose

Action is the foundational key to all success. ~ Pablo Picasso

A lot of despair is rooted in the misperceptions of success. We are surrounded by a materialistic society. It’s not bad to have things but a lot of times our reasons for wanting certain things are even misconstrued. Success is not one-sided. It can be allotted to different things in life; spiritual, moral, and emotional but not only financial.

You are the master of your own success

Success is a very idiosyncratic issue, don’t let anyone impose their success definition on you. It’s all about how you feel. Therefore, design your own concept of success and be happy about it. You only need to strive for achievements that are truly meaningful to you and remember, success is not the goal but the everyday process to the attainment of that goal.

You may follow one or two habits of those who have made it before you because success often lives clues but run in your own lane and focus on what’s meaningful to you.  After all, no two people were ever successful by doing the same thing.

In Conclusion

What is your purpose, what is that one thing that you need to accomplish? Is it an academic qualification or spending more time with your family? Could it be acquiring wealth or an invention? Or maybe touching the lives of others? Whatever that goal may be, set out your plan of action and embark on the journey. Do something about it every day, accomplish what you set yourself to do, and enjoy it, That is what I call success!

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