The Definition of Success
The definition of success according to the online Merriam Webster dictionary is....
a : degree or measure of succeeding b : favorable or desired outcome; also : the
attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence.
This is fine as far as it goes. A deeper, more workable definition of success is
needed. There are various elements that come into
achieving success. Take another look at the above definition. Favorable or
desired outcome. To have a favorable outcome you need to know what you were aiming for in the first place.
Let us take a look at a couple of scenarios.
Luck or Success
Joe wants to paint a beautiful landscape painting to sell and make some money.
He gets his canvas and paint and starts painting.
Unfortunately his artwork looks like a childs drawing that should be put on his
mothers refrigerator. He gets angry and starts slapping paint
all over the canvas. Someone else sees his mess and declares "What an
imaginative abstract painting!" They buy the canvas.
Well Joe got his
favorable outcome, but was it a success? No, this is luck, which is nice if you
can get it. The chances of it happening again are slim.
Anne, like Joe, wants to paint pictures to sell. She takes art classes to learn
techniques. To find out about the market she visits different
galleries to see what is selling. After a lot of practice she gets some
professionals to critique her work. Then, taking
taking their advice and constructive criticism, she works to improve on her
technique. She will continue to do this until her
You can see the difference. Joe was lucky, Anne is successful. It takes a lot
more planning and effort to be successful.
Luck is usually a one time thing and unpredictable, success is a long time
reward and achievable.
Success is not easy, it takes persistence, training, time and effort. Please do
not be put off by that statement, succeeding at something is very rewarding in
itself. You can also have fun along the way.
Another part of the above definition of success is degree or measure of
succeeding. Each of the steps needed to succeed can be taken as
mini successes. When Anne finished her art course it was a success and she would
feel good about herself. Keep your goal in mind but enjoy the journey.
Wealth is Not Success
The last part of that definition, the attainment of wealth etc. I am not sure
that it really fits, for a couple of reasons.
Was the attainment of wealth planned and worked towards (success), or was it an
inheritance (luck)? What if you won a lottery?
You might say that you took the time and effort to buy the ticket but it is
still far more luck than success.
An interesting note here.
A few years ago I read that just about all of the people who had won a lottery
were broke within three years. I don't know if that is
still true but it does not surprise me.
Success is sustainable, self made
millionaires worked hard at learning how to make and handle money.
They do not need to rely on luck. If something goes wrong and they end up
penniless they have the tools to make another million or more.
I understand that Donald Trump (the worlds famous rich man) went bankrupt a
couple of times. He has the knowledge and drive to
bounce right back.
Another point about the attainment of wealth, if you get rich at the expense of
other areas of your life are you really successful?
You might want to read the
meaning of success.
Your Life Journey
So what is my definition of success? It is like a journey.
Want to know the whole definition
of success? look at the rest of this site, it will make the journey easier. And
don't forget to send us a postcard, see
Also see how to Create
Know what you want (destination), see
how to set goals.
Work out how to get there (Map).
Get the necessary tools (Vehicle).
Turn on your passion to succeed (Gas), see
Overcome the obstacles (Detours, road blocks) that some will throw at you, see
fear or success.
Enjoy the trip but don't forget the family.
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definition of success.
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