What does success mean to you?
The term means different things to different people - for example the quotes I put below.
What do you think makes one a successful person?
When I was younger I thought success was something different. I thought, " When I grow up, I want to be famous. I want to be a star. I want to be in movies. When I grow up I want to see the world, drive nice cars. I want to have groupies." But my idea of success is different today. For me, the most important thing in your life is to live your life with integrity and not to give into peer pressure, to try to be something that you're not. To live your life as an honest and compassionate person. To contribute in some way.
Ellen DeGeneres, Tulane Commencement Speech, 2009
Real success is finding your lifework in the work that you love.
David McCullough (1933 - )
Okay Steph, you may have another blockbuster issue here, or it may fizzle.
Success ought to be defined by the individual, not by societal norms. For me a sense of well-being is critical. I try to achieve this in part by exercising most days. I love to go to the point of exhaustion, hiking up mountains and straining to breathe, legs feeling like jelly, and push on. I dropped the law practice after fifteen years of misery. I am just lucky that I am skilled enough to pursue my passion, handicapping horse races. It is a real trip to earn a living wagering on horses when it is so utterly difficult.
Of course no discussion of success can omit human relationships. If you can sustain a few real human connections, not the ersatz stuff, that contributes greatly to well-being. Animals, the non-human variety are significant in feeling the connectedness too.
I also have an insatiable need to understand. So I read and wonder about lots of stuff. I love the quote digression is the oxygen of intelligence. And a sense of awe for existence and all it entails and the abstruse and impenetrable universe add to sense of well-being. Imagine what a drag if we had it all figured out.
And humor is the sine qua non of happiness. It has to be innate and it is in part a realization how wierd things are. Success is anything but marriage, two kids, a good job and a white picket fence.
One achieves success when he becomes internally satisfied and stops looking for success.
To realize to the greatest extent possible your own individuality—to exercise your talents and your virtues as completely as you can. No one ever fully succeeds in this endeavor, we all fall short, we compromise and life denies us opportunities, but the effort is important nevertheless.
As it is useful that while mankind are imperfect there should be different opinions, so it is that there should be different experiments of living; that free scope should be given to varieties of character, short of injury to others; and that the worth of different modes of life should be proved practically, when any one thinks fit to try them. —John Stuart Mill, On Liberty