Success, as defined by Dictionary.com means: the accomplishment of one’s goals; the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like. Those definitions align with what most of us have been taught throughout our lives, as we grew up, as we worked to attain certain goals in school and then as we moved into our lives, careers, families, etc. Accomplishing the goal was success. Having money, a house, a car and lots of things, was being successful. Luckily, along the way, most of us were taught morals and ethics and learned to abide by the law as we pursued success. The most successful with the least concern for legalities became famous through history: Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, John Gotti and other career criminals. My question for you is this: does having all of those material things make you a success? Are you a success for having worked hard to attain them? Or is there, just maybe, another way to be successful?
It’s a very philosophical outlook I admit. Most folks measure “success” by their wealth: how much property they own, how much money they have, how much expendable income they have. Some people, usually the older parents who are looking at being grandparents soon or already have become such, look at success in a different light… or at least they might. They might view success as related to how well they raised their children; how much they taught their children; how much competence and confidence they instilled in their children; how autonomous and independent they empowered their children to be. When you think about it, being a successful parent means raising your children to be capable of not needing you anymore, but still wanting you around because you weren’t an utter jerk as a parent along the way.
I’ve known a few people who measure success by how little trouble they manage to get into in a given day. “I didn’t get called into the boss’ office today so it was a good day.” I shake my head and wonder, but to each his own, eh?
I also know a man who measures success by how many lives he can positively affect each day…
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