Thursday, January 27, 2011

What is your Definition of Success?

Success [səkˈsɛs]
1. the favourable outcome of something attempted
2. the attainment of wealth, fame, etc.
3. an action, performance, etc., that is characterized by success
4. a person or thing that is successful
5. Obsolete any outcome
[from Latin successus an outcome, from succēdere to succeed].

Success is relative, although here are countless books and articles that use millionaires, rock stars, political and spiritual leaders as examples of it, when in fact, very few people attain that kind of mega-success. What´s more, the reader may feel let down when he realizes he didn´t make it to the top after reading the how to book that promised all kinds of prosperity. On the other hand, celebrities such as Michael Jackson, Ernest Hemingway, Christina Onassis or Marilyn Monroe are proof that public acknowledgment and financial wealth do not guarantee happiness. 

That doesn´t mean that we should lower our standards and be content with just getting by, with no goals or purpose, but that we must rethink our personal concept of success. If you discover what success means to you, what you are passionate about, then if what you really want is to be a stay at home mom or find a job instead of being an entrepreneur, you won´t consider that a failure, because it´s what satisfies you.

Not everybody is after an Olympic medal or being a finance mogul, not everyone wants to write a book, plant a tree and have a kid. What is truly significant is to live a live of purpose, of progress and satisfaction in all areas: family, love, profession, finances ... 

Of course money makes life easier, but it doesn´t always bring happiness. Public recognition is a boost to the ego, but it will never be enough if, for instance, you suffer from low self-esteem. Having your dream job is great, but if your profession destroys your family life, is it worth it? 

Success is - or at least I see it that way - a lifestyle, a journey and not a destination. It´s living with purpose,  in a constant state of gratitude. 

What is your definition of success?

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