What Does Success Mean to You?

We often talk glibly of people being successful but what does success actually mean to you? For you to say that your life has been successful what will have to have happened?

For some people earning lots of money is the most tangible aspect of success. Yet ask a firefighter (who does not earn lots of money!) for their definition and it may be making a great rescue, stopping a car fire spreading and so on.

Or if you are an academic, success may come in the form of passing exams, gaining qualifications, having some research published.

Just pause for a moment and think about YOUR definition of success. It will probably accord with your values and ethics about life.

The following quote has often been attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson but it was, in fact, Bessie Stanley, a woman, who first wrote of success:

He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction. [published 11/30/1905 in the Lincoln (Kansas) Sentinel)

Know what success is to you and make plans accordingly. But make sure that you are working to your definition, not one thrust upon you by other people’s expectations.

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Posted on May 4th, 2009 by

One Response to “What Does Success Mean to You?”

  1. Success to me means to have challenging work and to make good money, but still be able to have time for family and reading and gardening and all the other things I love!

    If I could do that, and find some way to give back (financially or timewise) I would consider myself very successful.

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