Success to many of us can mean anything. For the dynamic and ambitious executive it could mean climbing the greasy pole of corporate achievement and finally sitting pretty at the top. For a new singer it could be having a record produced for the first time and watching its progress in the charts and for an actor it could be getting that coveted part on television.
For those in the public service, like a doctor, it could be saving another person's life, especially one who was not expected to live. For a writer it is likely to see that first idea in printed form, and how it is received by the readers, while for a lawyer it could be winning the next courtroom case. Yet again, for the budding entrepreneur, it could be making his/her first millions and the feeling of being rich.
Those are all tangible, material form of success. They are difficult to miss, they spell success in big, bold, sweeping letters to the rest of society, and they provide visible means for measuring one's potential, one's progress, one's journey and one's destination.
But what about the person who judges their success by other parameters? For example, by their own values and standards? By simply living up to what they believe in? By the effect they have on others? By the difference they make to their world? By the degree to which they affect other people's lives and, most of all, by the level of happiness and contentedness they feel? Is their feeling of genuine success any different from those who wish for material accolades? And how do they tangibly measure such success, especially when they cannot see the end product of their actions? Is it according to the way they feel each day?
Finally, what about people in retreat, the ones who remove themselves from their community/society to live lives of quiet mediation and peacefulness; to live by their own ideas of fulfilment and are quite happy not to even come in contact with others, or to have any material things? Are they being successful in any way?
Which form of success applies to you the most, and what would be your individual definition of success?
Let's have it.