What is Your Definition of Success?

I believe that this is one of the most important questions someone could ask. Why? Because the way we live is very much determined by our definition of success. Either consciously or unconsciously, we always make decisions based on our definition of success.

For example, if your definition of success is rich, then you will make decisions that makes you richer, even if that sometimes means sacrificing other things such as your family.

Each of us already has a definition of success, whether we realize it or not. To help you find it out, just close your eyes for a moment and imagine how a successful person looks like. Is he rich? Is he famous? Does he ride a limousine? Does he have a lot of friends? Well, whatever it is, that is your definition of success. That’s the image you are after to make yourself successful.

Another way to find out your definition of success is to mention names. We usually have role models of those who we think are successful. We want to be like them. So follow these two steps:

  1. Write names (or it can also be only one name, it’s up to you) of people whom you think are successful.
  2. Answer this: what characteristic do they have that makes you think they are successful? Please write only one characteristic. If you think of multiple characteristics, try to find one that can summarize them all.

Your answer in step 2 is your definition of success.

Ok, now you have your definition of success. So what’s the problem?

Well, the problem is sometimes our definition of success doesn’t match our principles. For example, our principles may say that success is not measured by money. However, from the exercise above we may find that our definition of success is actually “rich”.

Such mismatch means that the way we live is different from our principles (because, as I mention above, the way we live is very much determined by our definition of success). Since our principles are what we think as the truth, actually we should live according to them. Living differently from our principles means that we do not follow our heart and conscience. There’s no way we can have a fulfilling life that way.

What should you do if that happens? Change your definition of success to match your principles. Redefine your definition of success. Make it aligned with your principles. Your definition of success should follow your principles and not the other way.

Of course, it is easier said than done. Often, our definition of success has been rooted deep in our mind that we go back to it unconsciously. We may remember our new definition for a few days only to unconsciously go back to the old one later.

That’s why it is important to have regular reflection time. Your reflection time is the time where you should realign your life with your principles. That’s the time to check whether you have followed your heart or not.

Your definition of success is important. Don’t let it go the wrong way.


  1. Insightful post. You are right about success. I guess a lot will agree that being successful is to reach our goals in life, and I think that it is everybody’s goal to live an easy life, which means having no financial problems. Although it’s not about being rich, it’s still about money.

  2. My definition : Puff Daddy.
    Why ? Fame, expensive cars, dream homes, beautiful womens, and nobody can touch all these, because he is well protected.Just like a god.

  3. Well thats true. We all have to think rich don’t we. I believe what you think and how you think about something will make it happen. If you think sad thoughts then you will be sad. Same thing goes for thinking rich.

  4. @Nancy:
    Everybody has his/her own definition of success, but I think “rich” is the most common definition people have. Not everyone has this definition though. For some people, success is not measured by wealth/money.

    I didn’t give example in the post, but you give one. Thanks for the example!

    I agree, we all should think rich, regardless of whether or not “rich” is our definition of success. We should have “abundance mentality”.

  5. That’s true. Our thoughts make us believe what we want. If we think of things that make us beautiful, then we want to be great looking. We think differently but I guess tha thinking rich has a lot to do about goals and how it affects them.

  6. Thank you for submitting your post to Success and Abundance Mindset Carnival. Look for the Carnival on April 5.

  7. Your definition of success is real.

    I like to add another to your definition of personal success … the really successful people are those who have help others to succeed as well. The more people they have helped others to succeed the more successful they become.


  8. Ronald, I really love your definition of success. While many people measure success by what they get, this definition measures success by what they give, which is helping others succeed. I think this is essential.

  9. in my openion success full man win the heart of parent fast.
    win the society & win the success

  10. Good definition, Afaque. There can be many different definitions of success. The best is always to choose the one that suits you best.

  11. Levi Thaddeus Barnachea
    Levi Thaddeus Barnachea

    thanks for the difinition of success because of your definition I answer my thesis about the secrets of mans dehind their dreams thanka lot

  12. Levi,
    You’re welcome, and good luck for your thesis!

  13. good opinion about success, if you want to know about success in your lives pls read the article of John maxwell and rick warren then you will realize that the true success is in the hand of GOD

  14. Levi,
    Thanks for the recommendation. I do read their writing and I agree with you.

  15. i hope it is true it is so good and it will be helpful to many of the people who reads it or know about it from any one

  16. success is your determination and your determination is based on your motivation. your motivation depend on your ability and your ability is your strength.

    you cant be successful if you sleeping in your bed 24hours of the day!
    nooooo! success is hard working!

  17. we see that all the facts are relative. There is no reality exist. No values, no good or no bad all only one perception about certain things. Then how we can define success. what we should do when there is no reality exist. Better not to do any things and just see and observe.

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