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What is the Definition of Success?

Updated on May 28, 2013
Success is a big thumbs up!
Success is a big thumbs up! | Source

What is success?

What is success, besides a very hard question to answer? Success means so many different things to so many different people. Success even takes on many different sizes, from the success of a small accomplishment such as remembering a phone number to the success of a lifetime filled with accomplishments. defines success as the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; or the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like. further states that synonyms for success are achievement, fame and triumph.

In his book “Who’s Got Your Back”, Keith Ferrazzi talks about a personal success wheel. On this wheel he lists 7 areas in which we can be successful. These areas are: Giving Back, Spirituality, Intellectual Stimulation, Physical Wellness, Financial Success, Professional Growth, and Deep Relationships. Without going into what he has said or even considering what he has said, I want to discuss each of these areas and how I personally think they can apply to being successful.

I do not think that all of these areas are essential for every single person to feel successful and fulfilled; however, it would be wise to consider how each area can apply to us and our lives.

What is success?
What is success? | Source
Embassy Volunteers at Thrive's Battersea Garden Project
Embassy Volunteers at Thrive's Battersea Garden Project | Source

Success and Giving Back

Rarely has anyone made it to the place that they find themselves in life without the assistance of someone else. Someone - family, teachers, friends, associates, etc. - has been there to lend a helping hand or to deliver an encouraging word that has changed our lives significantly. I think that is only right that we should observe the “pay it forward” concept and impact other people’s lives in the same way. We have so many options available to help others, and doing so blesses us in ways that we can only imagine.

What are some ways to give back? You can give back by contributing time and/or resources to a worthy cause, becoming a mentor, taking a personal interest in your community, helping someone in need, delivering a kind word to those you meet, etc.

Success and Spirituality

Spirituality is a term that means different things to different people. When I address spirituality here, I am not talking specifically about religion or faith. Instead, I want to address that inner self, the spirit that is in us, that leads us to discover who we are and question the meaning of our existence. What were we placed here to do and accomplish? Knowing the answer to this question will allow us to lead a more fulfilled life. Finding the answers to these questions requires quiet time without all the hustle and bustle of the world around us. We each need personal time to allow us to reflect on who we are and what our purpose on this earth was meant to be.

Success and Intellectual Stimulation

Intellectual stimulation is very important to our well-being. Some people who go stagnant in this area may begin to feel that they are ignorant, but by continuing to stretch the boundaries of what you know, your mind will feel refreshed and rejuvenated. This helps you continually process new information and look at things in new ways. Intellectual stimulation is important for everyone. What are ways to be intellectually stimulated? Read books, do crossword puzzles or other puzzles, utilize resources on the internet that address brain stimulation or cognitive therapy, hobbies, etc.


Success and Physical Wellness

Physical wellness is very important to feeling successful. The endorphins that your brain receives during a runner’s high are a classic example of the feeling of well-being that goes with physical fitness and wellness. When we are physically fit, our blood moves oxygen through all parts of our body, including our brains. This oxygen is critical for all parts of the body to function well. Good blood flow also enhances the removal of toxins from our bodies further relieving stress and causing a feeling of well-being.

It is very difficult to feel successful when dealing with physical issues that cause distress or pain. Many times the physical pain overshadows everything else in our lives.

Success and Financial Success

Typically, when we think of success, financial success is the first thing that comes to mind. Although financial success can be important to many people, it is not the ultimate success that many people consider it to be. There are many things that money cannot buy, such as genuine relationships, spiritual connections, and physical wellness. And although financial success can help with professional growth, it does not guarantee it. Therefore, financial success is but one component to a successful life.

On top of that, financial success is different for different people. For one person, financial success is not having to live paycheck to paycheck; for another, it is living in opulence.

Success and Professional Growth

Professional growth is one of those areas of success that many think may not apply to all, but can apply to all none the less. It is easy to know what professional growth is – being successful in our chosen profession.

But what if our chosen profession is housewife and mother? It is important to understand that this is a profession that deserves respect and consideration in all societies. The profession of housewife and mother has the potential to mold future generations like no other profession. How much more important can it get?

Success means connecting with those we love!
Success means connecting with those we love! | Source

Success and Deep Relationships

Deep relationships are the true building blocks of our lives. Without deep relationships we can grow stagnant in our emotional insecurities. Deep relationships allow us to be ourselves, while at the same time feeling safe enough to question whether that is truly the person we really want to be. Deep relationships can challenge us to be more – to be all that we can be. Deep relationships not only allow us to grow, but can challenge us to grow.

Success is leading a balanced life!
Success is leading a balanced life! | Source

Living a Balanced Successful Life

Whether we consider it to be true or not, every decision we make affects someone else. Therefore, we can choose to do good or evil, and our choice will affect those around us thusly.

We are all interconnected with one another. When we think of our success along the lines of helping those around us to be successful, we have arrived at true success. By helping others to be successful, success cannot help but come to us. Not only will this enable us to be successful, it will also help us to live a happy, balanced, and successful life.

Success in Life is . . .

Success is being at peace with who you are and your circumstances in life.

I like some of the things that Keith Ferrazzi alludes to:

  • We don’t commit sins to get more out of our lives
  • We are not busy making deals with God to be successful – they would not work anyway!
  • We don’t sacrifice our work for our family, or our family for our work!
  • We take care of ourselves and don’t just work like a machine all day long.

Discouragement, Failure, and Mistakes Eventually Lead to Success

On their road to success, many individuals forget that the road is paved with discouragement, failure, and mistakes. Success is rarely attained the first time that something is attempted. Success generally requires many mistakes and failures. There are numerous quotes, many made by famous people, which attest to this fact. Let’s look at some of them.

  • Thomas J. Watson, Sr., pioneer in the development of accounting and computing equipment, and chairman and CEO of IBM (International Business Machines), stated, “Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember, that’s where you will find success.”
  • Dale Carnegie, a writer and lecturer who also developed self-improvement, salesmanship, and interpersonal skills training courses, stated, “Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.”
  • Millionaire Malcolm Forbes, publisher of Forbes magazine known for his business sense, stated, “Failure is success if we learn from it.”
  • Successful entrepreneur Michael Jordan, a former American professional basketball player, stated, “I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”
  • Britain’s Prime Minister during World War II, Winston Churchill, stated, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. “
  • American inventor, Thomas Edison, has been attributed with having said, "If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven't failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward." This was his allusion to all the failures he went through while developing the light bulb.

As you can see, all of these quotes make allusions to failure. Failure, and often massive amounts of it, is generally a required component of success.

Knowing this, are you willing to pay the price? Success is never easy, but it is made all the sweeter by the disappointments that precede its appearance!


What is True Success?

I believe true success is being comfortable with what you are, who you are, and where you are. The true measure of success comes with having peace of mind. Everyone with money is not successful. Success is being balanced in every area of your life that is important to you.

My favorite quote for success was made by Ralph Waldo Emerson. I believe that he sums it up quite well in his quote, "To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” May we all have the opportunity to experience this in life.

Additional Success Quotes

  • “Most successful men have not achieved their distinction by having some new talent or opportunity presented to them. They have developed the opportunity that was at hand.” ~ Bruce Barton
  • “Success doesn’t come to you – you go to it.” ~Marva Collins
  • “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.” ~Vincent T. Lombardi
  • “Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.” ~Dale Carnegie
  • “In order to succeed you must fail, so that you know what not to do the next time. “ ~Anthony J. D’Angelo
  • “In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” ~Bill Crosby
  • “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” ~Bill Gates
  • “If you have the will to win, you have achieved half your success; if you don’t, you have achieved half your failure.” ~David Ambrose
  • “He is rich or poor according to what he is, not according to what he has.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher
  • “It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” ~ Roy Disney
  • “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” ~ John Bunyan
  • “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

Success is being able to do the things you love to do with the people you love!

Success is Waiting for You

Take the following polls and see how you measure up to everyone else . . .

Given these examples of success, do you feel that you have been successful?

See results

Do you feel like there are things that you would like to change or need to change?

See results

If you answered yes to the above question . . .

Are you ready to make those changes, and become even more successful?

See results

All Rights Reserved

Copyright © 2012 Cindy Murdoch (homesteadbound)

Oh, How I can relate!
Oh, How I can relate! | Source

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