How Do You Define ‘Successful People’?

Posted by Donald Latumahina

Of course, everyone could have his/her own definition. But, inspired by the book Never Eat Alone and a comment by Ronald Yip, this is the definition of successful people that comes to my mind:

Successful people are those who help other people succeed, even to become more successful than them.
Or the longer version:

Successful people are those who help other people succeed, even to the point that other people become more successful than them.

In this definition, success is not measured by how much we get, but by how much we give. Successful people are those who give the most value to others. They sincerely help other people advance, even to the point that other people become richer, more famous, or more popular than them.

The phrase “even to become more successful than them” is important. Most people are willing to help, but may be reluctant when they realize that their help may make other people surpass them in wealth or popularity. This is especially true if the other people are younger or newer than them. This kind of attitude makes them willing to give only to a certain point. The real successful people, on the other hand, are always willing to give. They are happy to contribute to others.

Often, this kind of selflessness pays off handsomely. Other people who receive their help usually will return the favor whenever possible. Since successful people give a lot, they in turn will also get a lot. But this is not their motivation. Even if they don’t get, successful people will keep giving.

Of course, it is not easy to have this kind of attitude. Many people (me, at least) tend to be selfish. They think more about what they could get than what they could give.

Remembering this definition is a start to help us put it into practice and eventually become the real successful people.

Categories: Attitude

Please use your real name and note that I reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

  • adrienne

    Very true. Great definition. I love to help people. I find helping people helps me be a better person. It teaches me pacients and helps me understand things as well.

    Adrienne :)

    • Alisson

      Very True! I agree!

  • Donald Latumahina


    I find helping people helps me be a better person.

    That’s exactly how it works. I don’t know for sure why, but helping people does help me become a better person.

  • HP van Duuren

    Thanks for this great post!,

    As a matter of a fact my most recent Syndicated Column was about ‘Success’,
    It’s titled: “Success Waves” Because I don’t think success usually is an ‘Instant Fame and Fortune’ situation. I think it usually builds up from little successes.

    Interesting thing you mention about Successful people helping others to become even more successful than themselves…., That’s an interesting point that reminds me of a story about the great ‘Advertising Tycoon’ David Ogilvy.
    He lives (or lived) in a Castle in France.

    Once David had a boardmeeting with all their top executives. David had given them all a “Russian Doll” (You probably seen them before…, when you open the big one there is a smaller one inside, and when you open that one there is an even smaller one in that one etc. etc.) So he had given them all such a ‘Doll’, and they all opened the Doll till the last and smallest one, in it was a little note that said: ‘If you all hire people that are smaller than you yourself, we will get a company of Dwarfs!’
    For what ‘Giving Value’ is concerned, in an effort to create
    more value for my weblog-visitors, and to create a more pleasant ‘Visitor Experience’ I created a few Daily Items and recently added a new one Called: ‘Today’s ‘Joke of the Day’ to give my visitors a pleasant and fun experience.

    For what ‘more concerned about what you get’ is concerned this probably has to do with putting more “Negative energy”(worry,fear) on what we want, than “Positive energy”.(expectation, exitement) Being greateful for what we already have is also a very strong positive energy that is inclined to attract even more than you already have.

    You can find a real remarcable Free Report about this at:

    BTW, maybe you noticed that I begun my comment with ‘Thanks for this great post!’

    All the Best,

  • Donald Latumahina

    Thanks for the story you share, HP! I like it.

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  • Betty Macintosh

    Happiness is the key yo success. :)

  • Amer

    Well , i know that you feel happy when you help other people , but at the same time people will use you in a bad way and sometimes they think you are naive ,so they will ask you to do so many things to them but they don’t give you anything in return .

    sorry for that language , english is not my native tongue

  • isa

    susscce is my life