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Definition of success by 100 random people:

If you were to stop 100 people in the street and ask them, “what their definition of success is” then you are likely to get the same amount of different answers.

There are many ways of measuring personal success and there are many opinions about what success actually is.

You might hear things like:

‘Getting my first customers for my business’

‘Seeing my daughter off to university’

‘Counting the smiles on my kid’s faces’

‘Overcoming obstacles and fear’

‘Being kind and compassionate’

‘Getting 100.000 followers on TicTock or Instagram’

‘Getting fit’

‘Being healthy’

‘Reaching 40 years of marriage’

‘Becoming a millionaire’

‘Helping other people’

‘Having a purpose’

And so the list goes on.

And why not?

All of these views are indeed definitions of success. 

dictionary definition of success

What does the dictionary say about the definition of success?

If we look in the dictionary, success is defined as follows:

Success is the achievement of something that you have been trying to do.

Something that is successful achieves what it was intended to achieve. Someone who is successful achieves what they intended to achieve.

(Collins dictionary definition)

This opens up many opportunities. 

If we look at success this way, I.E. succeeding in whatever you intend to achieve, there are so many things that you can be successful at!

Would your opinion of yourself change if you felt you were successful at many things already?

society definition of success

How does society see the definition of success?

Regardless of what the dictionary says, we also have general ideas as a society about what success entails, especially when we measure success in general. 

This often goes along the lines of fame, fitness and wealth (and preferably all three at the same time).

Celebrities for example are often perceived as successful however messy their private lives might be. 

Someone driving an expensive sports car and wearing expensive clothes could also be perceived as ‘successful’, by some. 

For others, a professor finding a cure for a disease would be successful or maybe an accomplished doctor.

While there are differences in how success is perceived – depending on what is important to the person defining success – overall the level of achievement needs to be rather high.

To be perceived as successful within society you need to fall into the very small group of ‘best in your field’.


how to aim for success realistically

Do we aim for success realistically?

When we look at the success we want personally, we aren’t always very realistic. 

We tend to either set our success expectations very low or far too high. 

If we stay within our comfort zone, we can’t fail.

While this is true, the perception of failure is somewhat twisted and has everything to do with how we want other people to see us (or not).

What is being forgotten is that every success story has many failures behind it. And that these  failures would have been used as learning opportunities to create a better chance of success in future.

For successful people, the ‘failure’ would never be the end destination. A hurdle maybe. An annoyance. Certainly something to analyse. And then something to move past on the next stab at success.

Aim higher. Fail. But get up again and move forward! 

Maybe you will be perceived as a ‘failure’ but at least you try. Which is better than sitting safely at home never trying anything and calling other people failures!

And when you reach the success you are after, remember who has the last laugh!

Aiming too high

If you set your expectations too high on the other hand, you will be setting yourself up for failure. 

While I believe you should dream big, and then make it a reality, you can’t go from broke to billionaire, without the many steps in between.

If you are a multimillionaire already, then yes, the next logical goal could be becoming a billionaire.

However, if you are not yet financially independent (from your dayjob for example) then the first success would be to be able to replace your dayjob with an income you generate on your terms.

The next success step would be to increase that income, to double your current income, triple even and then perhaps towards millionaire status.

From there you could reach for a multi-millionaire status and so on. 

success is like learning how to walk

Learning how to walk

A baby takes months to learn how to walk and all the while every little improvement is a victory to be celebrated and to be encouraged. That’s how a baby keeps going week after week.  

That is how success works too. 

So pat yourself on the back on your journey to success, because as long as you’re at it you are moving forward and closer to your own success. 

Overnight success stories

Yes you do hear about overnight success stories.

But do you really believe that there has been no preparation for this moment of success at all? No training, no failures?

It is easy to focus on the ‘success’ part of someone’s journey but believe me, success does not just happen overnight and by accident. Not often anyway!

If that was the case, surely we would all be successful in all areas of our lives?

create your own success

Becoming successful in your own right

It’s important to decide for yourself which parts of your life you want to improve and how much you want to improve it by.

Then take action every day to move towards your goal.

Don’t forget to congratulate yourself for every milestone you achieve. Remember this SUCCESS

And all these successes can lead to being at the top of your field and be perceived as successful by society. 

Should that be your goal, that is.

What do YOU want to achieve?

Loving relationship?

More prosperity?

Financial freedom?

Better health?

A stunning body?

Let us know in the comments below and tell us how you are getting on in achieving your goals!

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