I have seen this question posed on several other sites recently, mostly related to blogging success. So I wonder, in life, how do we define success?
It seems like, both in blogging and in life, people define success by numbers. As a blogger, the success is determined by the number of visitors per day, the dollar amount they can sell their ads, and the amount of diggs or tweets their posts received. As an author, the success is determined by how many books are sold, the number of positive reviews by large newspapers and magazines, and the number of movie offers that are made for their book. As a lawyer, the success is determined by the number of cases won and the dollar amount of settlement that is gained for their clients. As a family’s provider, the success is determined by the dollar amount of the salary he or she brings home, the dollar value of the home in which they live, and the amount of cars in their driveway.
But is that a real measure of success? Shouldn’t there be other things that determine if one is successful? Wouldn’t the quality of lives be different if there were other measures of success?
If we still want to focus on numbers, how about numbers like these. For the blogger, maybe the success should be determined by number of people who found the article valuable – who found something they were able to apply to some aspect of their work or their life. For the author, maybe the success should be determined by the number of people who were touched by the story, or whose lives changed after reading it for the better. For the lawyer, maybe the success should be determined by the people whose lives were helped, either by having a criminal taken off of the streets so they could not harm others, or because a settlement was won where the client not only desperately needed, but deserved the money – not something to make them millionaires, but something that covered what needed to be covered. For a family’s provider, maybe the success should be determined by the number of hours they are able to spend each day strengthening their relationships and their family bond.
And what about an individual’s success? Is it really about the things that can be bragged about, the amount of money that is made, the number of things owned, or the number of grandiose, external achievements? Maybe an individual’s success is more within. Maybe it is simply discovering more about themselves, who they are, who they want to be. Maybe it is by finding peace in life, and then leading by example and spreading that peace to others around them. Maybe it is supporting those around them to help them achieve the things that they want. Maybe it is a ton of other wonderful accomplishments – some great, some small – that not everyone can see, but for those who can, it defines them as a successful, amazing individual.
Maybe our definitions of success should be re-evaluated. Maybe we should be proud of everyone in our lives, whether their successes are obvious or not. Maybe what we do not realize is that, because of our individual ideals of success, we do not show those around us that we value them for who they are, instead of for what they accomplish.
That being said, what is your definition success? Do you show others that you value them, appreciate them, and are proud of them, despite what you may or may not think they are accomplishing?