What is Success

Success. We ponder it. We desire it. We train for it. We work for it. We’re disappointed if we don’t have enough of it. Sometimes we even make ourselves physically or emotionally sick with stress in the pursuit of it.

But what is success really?

  • Is it Money?
  • Fame?
  • Material possessions?
  • Happiness?

Is it all or none of the above?

Richard Branson defines success like this …

“Too many people measure how successful they are by how much money they make or the people that they associate with,” 

Branson wrote on LinkedIn: “In my opinion, true success should be measured by how happy you are. It’s a common misconception that money is every entrepreneur’s metric for success,” he continued. “It’s not, and nor should it be.”

While the Oxford Dictionary describes success as; “A person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains fame, wealth etc.”

In our culture success is inextricably linked with money, power, and fame. Whether the benchmark is the latest tech gadget, managing more people, more zeros on out pay slip, our bank account, or a more impressive job title, we’re discovering that those old definitions of success are just that, old and outdated.

Many of us adopt the idea of what we were taught in school or at home – that success is finding a good job, getting a rise, taking holidays, buying a nice car, getting married, buying a house, having children, and retiring with money in the bank.

While that may represent success to some, these days, there is no one-size-fits-all. We now have the freedom to customise our definition of success to our dreams and ideals.

Now that we have seemingly unlimited options in defining success for ourselves, how do we do that?

One place to look for guidance is from the inspiring examples of successful people and their take on success …

Acclaimed author, Maya Angelou:

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

Huffington Post founder, Arianna Huffington:

“To live the lives we truly want and deserve, and not just the lives we settle for, we need a third measure of success that goes beyond money and power, and consists of four pillars: well-being, wisdom, wonder, and giving.”

Business guru, Zig Ziglar:

“Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be.”

Spiritual teacher and author, Deepak Chopra:

“Success in life could be defined as the continued expansion of happiness and progressive realisation of worthy goals.”

Which, if any, of those reflections ring true for you? They are certainly valuable, deep and philosophical insights to be sure. But how does that help us in our everyday search for success?

It may help to think of success as an event achieved through the process of personal development and mastery.

I invite you to write your own definition of Success and you can find out more about The A to Z’s of Success – Charting a Course of Personal Achievement here.

With best wishes for your success and happiness


Thrive Coaching & Training


P.S., Learn more about finding your definition of Success here:
The A to Z’s of Success – Charting a Course of Personal Achievement

02 Feb 2021