Success – what is it? Everyone, it seems, has a definition – literally everyone. What I know for sure is that it’s elusive, impossible to define, very subjective and something everyone wants. Curious about what others had to say, I visited the Brainy Quote website. Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorites:
A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.”
How can they say my life is not a success? Have I not for more than sixty years got enough to eat and escaped being eaten?”
Logan P. Smith
Don’t confuse fame with success. Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other.”
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.”
Arnold H. Glasow
The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year.”
John Foster Dulles
These next two are my favorites. The Shirley Jones quote because it’s funny (I like funny) and the Tennessee Williams quote because …. well just because.
After I won the Oscar, my salary doubled, my friends tripled, my children became more popular at school, my butcher made a pass at me, and my maid hit me up for a raise.”
Success is blocked by concentrating on it and planning for it… Success is shy – it won’t come out while you’re watching.”
Yes, it’s Personal. Very Personal
As you can see, everyone has their own take on success. It’s a moving target. Not only does it look different to different people, it looks different at different stages in your life. It certainly doesn’t look the same to me as it did thirty years ago. Let me digress for a moment. I belong to several professional networking organizations and local chambers of commerce. These memberships give me access to hundreds of business people. From plumbers to attorneys and every conceivable profession in between, I can always find someone I know, like and trust enough to refer to one of my clients. At a recent business expo, I met Chris Gilbert, a video production veteran with a great idea – capturing the essence of a business in a one minute video. I immediately recognized an opportunity. I referred Chris to one of my clients. They connected and Chris was hired. I was so happy when he called to thank me for the referral. But it was more than just happy. It was a deep feeling of satisfaction – a sort of pervasive contentment that just made me smile inside. My definition of success had changed again. So here it is:
I am successful to the extent that I can contribute to the success of others.
Now Back to You
Do you consider yourself a success? If not, have you thought much about it? If you could wake up tomorrow morning and suddenly be successful, what would that look like? Is it about money? Is it about having choices? Has the idea of success changed for you over the years? Talk to me.
Photo credit: Manoj Kengudelu