What Is Success?

For a very long time, I have been going to write on such an ambiguous topic as success. What is success? Does anyone understand all the criteria of success, or is it something completely different and depends on a person’s individuality? Some attributes are often called success, such as an expensive car, a big house, a business, etc.

From my experience of communicating with people and reading books, success is the same ambiguous concept as beauty, happiness, love and so on. In other words, success is a deep individual concept. It’s no secret that many who have success trappings are often unhappy. You can be the owner of a large company but utterly incapable of deep personal relationships. You can create great technology and make discoveries but simultaneously experience dissatisfaction with life. Can such people be called successful?

These are all very complex and deep personal questions. Yet, look at examples from history. You can also see extraordinary people whom we still remember but who, during their lifetime, constantly struggled either with a misunderstanding of people or with poverty. Can Dostoevsky be called successful? And Michelangelo? By what criteria will we evaluate their success?

For a start, it is necessary to decide on the success in which field of activity or area of life we are talking about. For example, if a person has created a multi-billion dollar company, he can certainly be called successful financially. But this does not mean he will succeed in his personal life. On the other hand, a person who has been married all his life to one person and has kept love throughout this life is undoubtedly successful in his personal life. However, he may have endured financial problems or problems in other areas of his life.

Another very important point is this. When we are trying to evaluate our success or the success of someone else, it is essential to ask ourselves the question, what kind of start did this person have? With what set of resources did a person come to this success? People often do not think about it, but it is crucial. For example, if a person from a deep village and poverty has become known to the whole world, this is one thing. Or a person from a wealthy family, with a good education for which his parents paid, became known to the whole world, that is quite another.

That is, speaking of success, and it would be correct to outline the scope of this success since there is simply no universal success that is understandable to everyone and extends to all spheres of life. What concept you put in the word success is known only to you, and it may differ from the ideas about another person’s success.

Recently I heard Marina Melia’s words about success, and I liked her wording. She said that success is when a person has found a business that he will be interested in doing now and in 5 five years and ten because such people do not suffer from depression and do not have suicidal thoughts. That is, finding the work of your life is a success.

Here is what the brilliant Viktor Frankl said about success: “Don’t aim for success — the more you aim for it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long run — in the long run, I say! — success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think of it.”

I want to share what I call success. Success is fulfillment in love when a person can reach their maximum. When they can give and show themselves in all their talents and gifts, this revelation of the personality in fullness happens first of all in love.

What is the criterion for success for you?


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