Success is Personal

Many times I’ve thought about the notion of success and questioned its definition. I figured out that it’s really different for everyone but here is what I gathered, in a nutshell.

Success is personal. That is why it should be measured individually. It shouldn’t be a comparison between two people or a certain society-defined measure but a self-comparison: are you better than you were before or have you overcome a set of difficult circumstances? Everyone’s circumstances are different, so what constitutes a personal success for one individual is different in nature and magnitude for another. Comparing one individual’s accomplishments to another’s is like comparing a fish’s ability to climb a tree next to a squirrel’s; it’s not a fair representation.

Success is about being fulfilled. People chase happiness as a goal when instead happiness or joy should be by-products of being fulfilled. When you are fulfilled, you are more likely to feel happy. Often, we look for our purpose in life, so truly, we are looking for fulfillment. What makes us feel like we successfully employed our given or achieved set of abilities? How can we make an impact, do something meaningful for ourselves and others?

Success is not a singular destination. If you map it out, success should look more like a scatter plot diagram than a line. There are small successes along the way that might lead to bigger accomplishments. At any given point in time, you can achieve success by making a positive/good/healthy choice or an improvement upon your previous performance/knowledge/behavior. No one is perfect but if you are self-aware, if you can see both your talents and your shortcomings, and then make a continuous effort to improve, then you have better chances to succeed.

I set off to explore the subject further, by looking in my community. I talked with people from different walks of life, searching for what it means to be successful from their perspective and investigating how they achieved said success.

Read the next blog and find out what success means to Larsen Jay, chronic entrepreneur and philanthropist behind Random Acts of Flowers.

Oana Harrison

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