Success. Who doesn’t want it? Surely, everyone does.
But what really is success. Well, ask any person and they will respond to you in one of the most unthought-of ways you could not even imagine but only hear from someone’s mouth.
Definitions of success
When you ask someone on what do they want to become? You get two types of answers.
First, people who are pretty sure about what career choices they will make will answer it by telling you the name of the profession they are pursuing or plan to pursue.
Whereas the second answer, generally from people who haven’t figured out their career paths, would be ‘I want to become successful’.
So it turns out that while ‘success’ seems just to be a single word, it does have a lot of definitions and meanings that each person will give in a different manner depending on his/her thoughts, perceptions and of course circumstances.
Today, our quest is to try to define the word ‘success’, if not completely but at least to some degree, by gathering the list of the most common 21 ways in which people generally try to define success.
So let’s start.
1. With regards to achievement
To begin with, success can be defined with regards to achievement itself. This is perhaps the most common, clear, natural and obvious differentiation that many successful and unsuccessful people will give.
For successful people, ‘success’ is all about their achievement. They will talk about what they have acquired that made them successful.
On the other hand, unsuccessful people define ‘success’ as the things they want to achieve. In other words, it is all about something that they envy successful people for. For unsuccessful people, this further means two critical things.
- On a positive side, this envy can be an unsuccessful person’s motivation.
- But on its downside, it can be extreme jealousy.
2. Success is finding passion
Well, success is about finding your true passion. Without passion, you would never be able to even make it anywhere near its ‘S’, let alone the complete word ‘success’.
Remember that on your journey to achieve success, there will be countless times when you will get distracted and feel like you have tried everything but for no use.
When there is passion, any and every distraction will blur away on its own in the sight of your goal because your focus will be on what drives you, rather than what is holding you back.
3. Success is finding your love
You have probably heard the saying that, ‘Love what you do, or do what you love’. These words will play an important role in your success.
Success comes to two types of people. Those who get a chance to do what they love to do and the other type that have the tendency to love the tasks that have been assigned to them.
The second type is only possible when you are willing to dig deeper into something in order to explore more details about it. In other words, risking is better than regretting.
4. Success is planning to become the best in anything
Recall what we earlier discussed in the introductory lines of this blog about what people reply when they are asked about what they want to become.
While mentioning your career choice or saying you want to become successful can be taken as an answer, it is perhaps not a complete one.
A complete answer would be to say for example that ‘I want to be a successful doctor or a successful entrepreneur or anything else’ but always beginning and stressing more on becoming successful.
Point to remember here is that it is not about what you want to do, rather it is about how much and to what degree you want to do it.
5. Success is about establishing your wants
Establishing your wants means distinguishing clearly between your wants and needs. This is much similar to our last point.
For example choosing any career, like becoming a software engineer, is a primary need of every person in a way that this fulfills their secondary needs like being able to pay for food, house, travel, etc. Thus needs are simple and every person has it.
But what will make you stand out from the rest of the crowd is what you want. For example, becoming a software engineer so that you can become the chief executive officer of some giant technology company or founding your own software company, describes your ambitions or your wants.
6. Success is about prioritizing
Success means that you are able to prioritize what you want to do or achieve. Goals as well as ordinary things in life become easier to accomplish when you have set priorities.
By setting priorities, you know what decisions to make and what resources to deploy for it at the right time in life.
7. Success means sometimes being unfavorable
When you set priorities in life, there are times when you might get into conflicting situations.
This means that at some point, someone might ask you to compromise your interests for them. In such situations, you might have to respond negatively with a ‘No’ and deny them any favor in which scenario others might perceive you as being selfish or rude.
8. Success is not just mere happiness
While being happy with what you get or have is important to show gratitude and remain content, success is more than this. Success is about the happiness that you get from achieving something you always wanted.
9. Success is not an overnight thing
Success is not something you can achieve in one night. It’s never like that you sleep one night being unsuccessful and the next morning you wake being a successful person.
Success demands that you stay awake for countless days and nights while being tired and unsuccessful because you understand how much your goals mean to you beside a good night’s sleep.
10. Success is being realistic
Your success depends on how much of a realistic approach you use to set and justify your goals with.
You might have heard about the saying that the only person that knows you well is you yourself. So when setting your goals, you need to critically analyze your strengths and weaknesses and draw a conclusion whether you will be able to achieve that goal or not.
11. Success is overcoming your weak points
While knowing your strengths and weaknesses is important, there is absolutely nothing that you cannot achieve. Keep in mind that everyone has some sort of limitations. But success comes to those who are willing to overcome their limiting factors to achieve anything.
Therefore the first challenge towards success starts from within you i.e. how do you plan to replace your shortcomings with strength and motivation. For this, you need to focus and rely more on and be confident of your strengths instead of your weak factors.
12. Success is clearing yourself from any doubts
Success is the ability to clear your mind from any self-doubts. Self-doubts often arise when you overthink about any issue and can harm your entire thinking process. Due to this, your focus on your main goal gets diverted towards totally fictitious thoughts on whether you should or shouldn’t and what if, etc.
The key here is to have a self-belief that yes definitely you can and you will do it.
13. Success is your urge to change your surroundings
Success is your urge or the feeling about how badly you want to change your surroundings or your present situation. Feeling bad does not mean that you take stress and get demotivated.
It is more about transforming the things that demotivate you or let you down into things that push you forward and do not let you stop from bringing a positive change in your life, no matter what comes your way or what hits you.
14. Success is in helping others
Sometimes, you can use your own experience to help others to defeat similar issues that you faced at some point in time. While setting priorities and saying ‘no’ if required is important, helping others at the right time is actually a way of demonstrating that you are not selfish at all and you really know how and when to care for other people.
15. Success is in asking for help
While being independent and self-reliant is good, there are times when you do meet dead ends and don’t know how to move obstacles.
When any such consequences arise, it is always better to consult someone for their help rather than feel ashamed, waste time and wait for things to take a natural turn, in which case you simultaneously stand equal chances of either winning or losing.
Remember that asking other people’s help in times of dire need does not mean that you are incapable of doing something or are a failure.
16. Success is about team playing
Sometimes your role is not on an individual level; rather it requires you to combine your efforts with that of other players in your team, so that it contributes to make the team win.
Putting the interests of your team above those of your own is also a way to show how you prioritize your life goals without being self-centered.
17. Success is about learning something new
Success is when you have a continuous thirst to learn something new every day in life. The more you seek knowledge, the more aware you become.
Aside from this, learning also helps to remain updated about what skills are useful and what have become useless, especially in a fast moving world where most of the new knowledge that is generated, also becomes obsolete before most people can hear about it.
18. Success is about learning from mistakes
Humans do make mistakes, only robots and computers don’t. No person can claim to be free from making any kind of mistakes. Thus making a mistake is not a big deal and nothing to worry about.
Instead, the thing that you need to be concerned about is not letting the opportunity of learning a lesson pass away when you make a mistake.
Not grabbing the lesson that your mistake ought to teach you is the real mistake that most people make and hence they end up repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Lose, but don’t lose the lesson is the key here.
19. Success is about sharing your knowledge
Success requires in believing that neither you nor any person is a know-it-all guy. We all know a few things and there are many things that we do not know but can learn by involving in healthy and constructive conversations with each other.
Thus sharing of knowledge can mutually benefit each other in more than one way.
20. Success is getting up each time you fall
The journey to success is a hard one. Sometimes it will be your mistakes that will make you fall. Other times, it will be other people that will push or try to throw you away.
Thus falling again and again on the path to success is inevitable. However, what matters in such incidents is your courage to stand back on your feet as quickly as possible; no matter how hard you fell.
21. Success is about doing something new
Success is about doing something out of the blue, something extraordinary; that no one or very few people have ever accomplished before.
But your decision to attempt any such challenge will come at the price of great discouragement and humiliation. Failed people and losers will tell you how impossible it is, all adding up to your fear of ending up as a failure yourself.
When this happens, remember the famous Chinese proverb that, ‘If one can do it, you too can do it. If none can do it, you should do it’.
In other words, doing something new means that instead of following a trend, you should yourself become a trendsetter. Instead of following someone’s path, light the path for others to follow.
While we claim to be by far the most learned, intellectually empowered and ‘successful’ members of our species, there still are certain things which we either do not understand completely or take time to do so. Success is undoubtedly one of those things.