What does success mean to you?


To me, success is fulfilling the goals and plans you set for yourself. Granted, these will change over the course of the years; financial stability for your family, a nice home, good health care and can extend to creating a multi-million dollar company or leaving a legacy for your generations to come.

Our view on success is heavily impacted by the environment we grew up in, the encouragement we received from our parents/guardians, our education, the people we spend time with and so on.

Dictionary.com gives the following definition of success;

1. Prosperous termination of attempts or endeavours; the accomplishment of one’s goals.

2. The attainment of wealth, position, honour or the like.

Despite the two definitions given above and the information we are constantly fed by the media, I do not believe success can only be equated with money and fame. If this was so, when would one stop striving for more?  At what point does contentment stop and greed start? It is a thin line.

If I wrote a book that for some reason I decide not to publish, it would still be a success. You may ask “a success to who?” as no-one will read it but I would have read it. I would have put in the hours and stretched my writing skills to beyond and back. 

Another example is if an individual excels in church ministry or within a charity (both voluntary positions), would their contributions to society be overlooked due to the lack of monetary gain and status?

So, to wrap this up, success holds something entirely different for each of us. Whatever we are aiming for should be guarded and valued. Our hope for success is no better or worse than others, it is just ours. 

What does success mean to you?

How much did your upbringing contribute to your thinking?

45 thoughts on “What does success mean to you?”

  1. Indeed, the word success will mean different thing to different people.

    What i see as success might not necessarily be what you see as it. For me, i also see it as attainment of my goals. Be it academic goals, financial goals, good health, relationship and every other thing that is important to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Success is a relative term for me. Some days I’m successful because I’ve gotten through the day with out my head exploding , I try not to attach to the term and focus on feeling successful in the, “doing”. Plus when I thin of success I think of it as a comparison to something else that establish what success looks like. And I try not to allow others behavior or definitions to define my life.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think success to me is having a legacy. When I go, was there something that mattered. is there something that I left that grew, or benefited someone else. Was the world a better place when I left it. If not, I do not see a purpose for us being here anyways.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with you Phoenicia! Success should not not just be measured in financial terms. Accomplishing one’s goals is a massive success and should be celebrated accordingly!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think success is very subjective, kind of like happiness. Maybe for some, it’s monetary, but I’d like to think that for the majority of us, it’s experiential. For me, if every now and then, I can make just one person think differently about a topic, I consider that to be a real achievement.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Phoenicia,

    I too think that success is really accomplishing any goals that you’ve set for yourself. They can be anything at all really and stepping stones to get you to whatever you feel is your final destination.

    We learn and grow along the way which can only benefit us down the road. I’ve always told people that success really can’t be defined because it does mean something different to everyone you ask.

    Loved this post, thanks for bringing it up and sharing what you too think success really means.

    Enjoy the rest of your week.


    Liked by 1 person

  7. Write more, Phoenicia! Really like this post. Although I want to be published and widely read as a novelist, I have also decided that what is most important to me is the actual finishing of a novel. I’ve written three (ok, 4, but do I have to count the first one? Shudders!) and one is finally ready for an editor. I love the act of writing, of living in the characters’ world for a while.

    Now, would I be ecstatic if I can pull of the commercial part of this? You betcha’!

    One big lesson from my parents, though, is that a successful person is: One who is kind and who goes through life leaving a swath of goodness in their wake. That was always way more important to them than money or fame.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. There is success even in so-called failure like how you mention writing a book, but then the author might decide not to publish it. The process teaches the doer a lot. I guess to me success means continual forward movement despite inevitable setbacks.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Success to me is all about personal freedom. I’ve never had a desire to be ‘famous’ only to follow my passion to help people accept the power they have to create their own life experience. For better or worse – unless you’re willing to live an extreme minimalist lifestyle – money is a big part of what makes personal freedom possible, so that is surely a part of the equation one cannot ignore. But since it’s not what drives my work, I focus on providing as much value as I possibly can and so far the money seems to follow that strategy.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. There’s a big difference in what constitutes success for an individual as opposed to how the outside world interprets success. I agree with you that it shouldn’t be equated with money and fame. How many of the world’s greatest artists, philosophers, authors and scientists failed to achieve either financial success or notoriety during their lifetime?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great post. To keep my perceptive on success, I like to look at data and compare previous years if possible. I feel it helps me to look and not judge myself on the process of success. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You are so right, Phoenicia. We cannot let anyone else’s definition of success influence our own. I have spent the majority of my life volunteering and have never put money as a priority. My happiness and fulfillment has been great, but for that, I have sacrificed a considerable amount of financial ‘success.’

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I think you make a great point. I’ve been brought up to equate success with money. As a kid, I asked my dad what had been his childhood dream. He said to be a millionaire. So I was raised with those standards. However, as I live I realize that there are tons of ways to be successful without ever receiving a cent in return. But it does require a change in perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erica – thanks for sharing your experience. Our parents play a huge role in shaping the 7way we perceive success. We either follow the route they took or go to the other extreme.


  14. Phoenicia, money is important, fame not so much, but I think true success can only measured by your inner sense of achievement, contentment and your contribution to others.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Love this post Phoenicia. I think the operative words which in part is the answer to a question you ask, are “mean to you.” Too often people tend to make their definition what OTHERS make it. Now that is truly sad that we can’t rely on what we want for success. That might mean we never feel we achieve yet, when in fact we do.

    Liked by 1 person

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