What is Success?

I’ve always been interested in human history and learning how, as a species, we’ve evolved. I also enjoy reading about and seeing people achieve great things. Writing a book about success has obviously led me to think hard over the subject of what goes into living a successful life. Just exactly what is success? Are a lot of material possessions and a lot of money the hallmark of a successful life? That’s what most people think of when they think about success. How about achievement and accomplishments? Well, yes and no to both of these notions. If these rewards come at the expense of the things that make life worth living, then no, they are not the hallmark of a successful life.

Our capitalistic system has an inherent element of greed called incentive. It’s a foundation of the system that has provided an amazing standard of living. For many, that little element of incentive turns into a mountain of greed. The animal in us that lies beneath the surface of the civilized human being has had some difficulty throughout history with taming base-level emotions. Greed, hatred, anger, jealousy, and fear have all played a role in derailing many successful lives.

A lot of people feverishly pursue achievement for the purpose of acquiring a lot of money. But if one is not careful, that achievement comes at a very high cost. How is it that so many people that have so much can be so unhappy? Why is there such a huge drug and alcohol problem in society? Disillusionment, broken marriages, discontentment, loss of health, and not being a good person, are many of the outcomes of putting the pursuit of money first.

Where the journey needs to start from a very young age, is learning that living a great life and being successful begins with closely examining oneself and building from within. Building on the foundation of being a good person and working to improve on oneself will lead to living a great life. Working from the inside out, will naturally lead to an abundance of good things. But if acquiring more is pursued, one must be kind and grateful for what one already has. Being kind and grateful is a prerequisite to attracting all the good that life has to offer into one’s life. People think that more stuff will bring happiness but if one can’t learn to be appreciative and grateful for what one already has; more stuff will only bring temporary happiness. Many studies have shown this. This is important because being happy is certainly a major part of what constitutes success.

It’s also known that people are most happy when in pursuit of a worthy goal or ideal. Having constructive outlets for ones abilities and talents is a major contributing factor to being happy and therefore successful. In many cases pursuing goals has led to an abundance of material possessions for a lot of people. And there’s nothing wrong with that if they are also loving, kind, generous and happy because that’s what being successful is all about. And it all starts with working on one’s self first. And this is called living the golden rule. If this doesn’t come first, all the money in the world will not make a successful person.

So having said all this, what is success? What would make a good definition of success? I teach how to achieve success, as described below, in my new book, Great Life for Teens, What Every Teen Needs to Know to Succeed in Life. Learning all the principals of success at a young age will bring more years of living a great life filled with abundance bred from habit and practice. Here is my definition:

Definition of Success

“Success is doing what is right while being kind; pursuing constructive outlets for your talents and abilities while being happy, being grateful for what you have while actively attracting what you desire; being optimistic and living life through love, while being your authentic self.”

I’m thinking that about covers it.  And if you like this article, please feel free to share it. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

Much success, Gary