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What is the yardstick of success?

Updated on September 1, 2014

The word success has different meanings and in some respects goals from one individual to another. We can have big successes or small ones on the path to overall success in our lives. Whether we reach real success depends upon our definition and in some cases the opinion of those around us. We measure success but those around us evaluate whether we are successful or not and it does not necessarily correspond to our definition.

Barbara Bush made a profound statement about success and it is true today as it was when she said it. The quote is below:

“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”.

Each of us interact with individuals on a daily basis and it can be a mark of success as much as having integrity in how we treat those around us. We must or should treat others as we want to be treated. As individuals we sometimes forget or do not realize what we say can sometimes be hurtful to others. This kind of action can be a deterrent to being recognized as successful. Friends and co-workers have opinions on whether you are a successful individual based on their perception and concept of what success represents. With regards to strangers we as individuals evaluate individuals that we do not even know to be successful. It is their activity, actions and decisions that play a part in coming to the conclusion whether someone is successful.

Understanding what the yardstick of success really means to us involves the need to define what our definition of success really means. Some insights from some entrepreneur superstars define success as provided below:

“My definition of success? The more you’re actively and practically engaged, the more successful you will feel.” -- Richard Branson

“My definition of failure became not trying, not the outcome.” -- Sara Blakely

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful entrepreneurs is perseverance.” -- Steve Jobs

“Remember: If the most unique ideas were obvious to everyone, there wouldn’t be entrepreneurs. The one thing that every entrepreneurial journey has in common is that there are many, many steps on the road to success.” -- Tori Burch

As previously mentioned success is not always about money. There are many aspects which can project our success as individuals or our business. Accomplishing success involves many qualities combined with the need to love what we are doing. One of the qualities involves persistence. Individuals enter come in and out of our lives all the time and the way we treat any individual even if it is only temporary we project our principles. We may not always know the connections individuals have or will have as they enter and leave our lives but how we treat them can impact our success. Additionally there are several aspects that fall into defining our success not only in our own minds but in the minds of others. The qualities and their relationship to the yardstick of success in presented and discussed below:


One of the important qualities of becoming successful is our perseverance. Our success depends on our energy to continue on the path we have started. Perseverance or persistence is important if we ever want to achieve what we feel is success. Defining what success means to us and the path to get there through perseverance is a critical aspect of striving to be successful. Success to some individuals is making a difference in the lives of others while others feel it is the amount of money they make.

Doing what we love

It is a known fact that if we love what we are doing our efforts to achieve success will increase. Individuals who love what they are doing express it in their faces, emotions and actions. It is difficult if not impossible to achieve success if you are not motivated to do your best. Doing what you love gives you a better perspective. It is an important yardstick of success.

Impacting the lives of others in a positive way

Individuals around us often see us being successful if we are impacting others in a positive way. This involves the character we exhibit and the actions/decisions we make. Each day we must make decisions and this activity is noticed by others. Affecting the lives of others says much about our character but the impact needs to be a positive one not negative.

Being engaged in the process of being successful

Each of us has goals we want to accomplish and when we reach those goals we have a measure of success. Achieving success means we need to be engaged with our actions to achieve what we consider to be success. This should involve short term and long term goals. We must achieve success in small steps so we feel we are making progress toward our overall goals. Once we reach them we need to create new goals.


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