What Does Success Really Mean?

Everyone throws around the words ‘success’ or ‘successful’, but what does success really mean?
For a lot of people, they think of money. They think that having money = success

But at the same time, there are plenty of people with more money than they could ever spend, yet are miserable.
Are these people successful? Is their life a success?
I would say no.

Personally I think that you can be successful without having a whole heap of money. It all comes down to what’s important to you in life, and what you want to achieve.

Martin Luther King didn’t make a lot of money – yet I’d argue that he was extremely successful in his life. He had a huge impact and literally changed the world forever.

Obviously you do need to make a certain amount of money. But once you have enough to live at a level that you’re comfortable with, you can definitely be considered successful without making millions upon millions.

I know people that make less than $2000 per month, but that amount allows them to travel the world and live the way that they want. These people have freedom, and are totally happy! They have no great burning desire to make millions.

I would say that these people are living successful ‘lives’. They may not be making a heap of money, but they are happy.

That’s the number 1 thing in my opinion. Being happy.

You could be considered ‘financially’ successful, have great health, have a great social life, but if you’re not happy, then I wouldn’t consider you to be living a successful life. Yes, you’re successful in some areas, but you’re not totally successful.

So, if you want to be successful I think you really need to ask yourself ‘What would make me happy?’
At what things would you like to excel at? Having success in what areas will make you feel happy and fulfilled?

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou’s definition of success

For me, happiness means a few things. It means success in the areas of finance, health, relationships, and freedom.

And by success in these areas I mean a level that makes me happy at that current point in time.
For finances, I personally currently consider successful as making $6000 per month. This is because this level allows me to travel the world, live how I like, and save money at the same time.
However, this will change one day. Eventually my personal benchmark for financial success will probably increase to the level of millions. It really depends on my goals and where I feel a level of comfort at any given time in my life.

Ultimately, it all comes down to the level of ‘relative success’ at which you can be happy.

For most people, having millions would make them financially successful and happy. But if a billionaire was reduced to only having $10million, then they would be miserable!
Because relative to their old income, their new income is poor, they will likely be angry, depressed, and underwhelmed.

The key word here is ‘relative’.

Relative to your goals, your expectations, and your comfort level, where will you feel happy, satisfied, and fulfilled?

For being in successful in health, my level of success that I’m happy with may be weighing 80kg at 8% body fat. But if a professional bodybuilder was reduced to that level, they would be miserable and feel like a failure compared to what their standards for that area are.

So in conclusion, success to me ultimately means being happy. And to be happy I think there are 3 main areas you need to excel at. Those areas are:
– Health & Fitness
– Finances
– Relationships/Social

If you can hit a standard that you’re happy with in each of these areas, that also challenges you, and constantly pushes you to improve, then I’d consider you to be successful.

The caveat is that you can’t be complacent. Your standards in these 3 areas need to continue to change and grow to keep you motivated, interested, occupied, and happy in the long-term. At the same time, you must be gratuitous for what you have, rather than focusing on what you don’t have. As you can see, success and happiness aren’t exactly clear-cut things to achieve.

But as I said, I believe the areas of Health & Fitness, Finances, and Relationships/Social to be the areas you must focus on and each a level of comfort in before you can be considered successful.
You can’t neglect any of these areas. You MUST work on all 3. Create some goals for these areas, and go after them.

If you can do that, be gratuitous, and feel happy while you do it, then I would say you’re living a successful life.
It’s something I think we should all strive for. That is, if you want to be truly happy. But who doesn’t want that?

As you may be realising, success is personal to you. What would you like to achieve in the areas of health, wealth, and relationships? What would make you happy in these areas? How can you get there?

Work on achieving those goals, whilst being grateful for everything you already have, and you will be happy.
And as I said, I believe that being truly happy = success.

But, that’s just my opinion…

What does success mean to you?

Adrian Ingram

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