What is success?

I was browsing my notes for blog articles and stumbled upon this definition of success:

Success = Happiness + Constant Improvement + Contribution

I decided to explore the idea of “What is Success?” and what this means to me.

Many years ago I worked through a personal development program called “The Dynamics of Personal Motivation” by Paul Meyer.  His definition of success was:

Success is the progressive realization of predetermined, worthwhile, personal goals. 

This means you are being successful while on the journey, and not just when you reach the destination.   For example, if one of your ideas is success is living a happy, purposeful life then you are successful as soon as you start this journey!

Getting back to the first definition of success, I discovered it was taken from the web site of The Minimalists.   I will quote from their page:

That’s the only kind of success we know of. If we’re not happy, then we’re not successful. We weren’t successful when we had corporate careers and fancy things that our culture told us made us successful. We weren’t successful because we weren’t satisfied with that life, we weren’t happy with that life.

Thus, success is comprised of three things: being happy with what you’re doing, constantly growing as an individual, and contributing to other people in meaningful ways. If these three things are present, then you’re successful.

What is your definition of success? How will you know that you are successul?



Author: charuzu

I live in Sydney and interests include music, piano playing, technology, cooking, English language, public speaking, Toastmasters, Asian culture (especially Japan and Korea), cinema, personal development, productivity and making friends with people from around the world.

3 thoughts on “What is success?”

  1. Charles,

    I recently read your post “What is Success?” and was hoping you would be interested in reading a piece of my own. A Reasonable Man, a short story, explores the unforeseen reality of the American Dream as it depicts the conflict between sacrifice and success.

    The story can be read free HERE (http://www.scribd.com/OscarHughes)! It is also available free on iPad and Nook.



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