Success or fulfillment?
Success, like happiness or failure or pain or beauty, is abstract - at least, to me.
Success cannot be measured by the amount of money you rake in, year in-year out. Neither can success be measured by the size of the house you live in, or the type of vehicle that transports you from one place to the other.
Don't get me wrong here. Material things like wealth and money are normally associated with one's success. I do not refute that. These things are INDICATIONS that one may be successful in his/her endeavor, and that is good. Prosperity is something each and everyone of us should aspire for.
However, being successful doesn't start and end in gaining money, fame, and even power. These are just just subsets to a greater and more noble measure of success I call "fulfillment."
One can be overflowing with money and power yet the vacuum in one's heart overpowers its material possessions. Sometimes the very things that we've worked so hard for just lose its meaning and essence in life. This to me, is not the ideal picture of what success is.
On the other hand, being fulfilled is being able to accomplish what you have been created for. Fulfillment is knowing your purpose in life and actually working your way towards achieving that goal.
To simplify things, I measure success not with metrics that this world impose upon us, but by a self-evaluated barometer that will say how much satisfied we are with what we've done. Big or small tasks, plain or hard-to-crack challenges - it doesn't really matter. What matters most to me is the knowing that I have faced up with the challenge, oblivious of the hurdles that were in the way, and being able to rest at night and say, I have been a good and faithful servant.
You see, it doesn't matter whether people see you as successful or not, for as long as you find purpose in life and achieve it (in the proper way, I mean),then I consider you successful. Its the intangible measure that God sees that really,really counts. After all, its God, not men who promotes and gives wealth in this finite life of ours.