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What Does It Mean to Be Successful

I'm Asking: What Does It Mean to Be Successful?

Our definition of what is successful tends to morph through time. Remember high school superlatives? The guy and gal voted Most Likely to Succeed in my senior class were ranked numbers one and two, academically speaking. But, now I'd vote for people with more of a well-rounded resume and charisma, and many employers feel the same way about job applicants. Of course, it's important to do well in school, but it's definitely not everything. So tell me, what makes a person successful in your eyes?


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emma- emma- 9 years
I got to say I love the first two comments.
verily verily 9 years
A person who is successful is someone who is doing what they want and living a happy, fulfilling life.
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
I view success as being truly happy with where you are and what you have, and also helping the less fortunate have a better life. But purely career-wise, I view success as having a job you look forward to going to every morning.
megnmac megnmac 9 years
I agree so totally - to set goals that focus on doing things that excite you and are realistic, but still take perseverence to accomplish. Knowing what is important, accepting happiness. When I was in my first year of lawschool I realized how easily people are swept up into competition and into valuing something because they can get it over other people who want it. And I talked to my husband about how we needed to change our definitions of success. I've been a type A my entire life, and I am still disentangling myself from looking for outside validation... but I have been able to jump ship from the competitive (albeit lucrative) private market and chose the job I love doing, that makes me feel whole and as if I'm finding myself in what I was meant to do, and chose to live in a place that I can happily raise my children, can find balance... and still see it is different for everyone, people thrive and love some legal jobs I would hate, and I'm sure some people shiver away from my choices... but success is seeing what you have to offer the world, seeing what makes you whole and happy and gives you peace, and moving forward even when it is scary...
honeysugar28 honeysugar28 9 years
Success to me is achieving the goals you set in your life and knowing your priorities and living by them.
Schaianne Schaianne 9 years
I think that a successful person is one who is happy and comfortable with their level of living. They can pay their bills and buy groceries w/o having to worry if they have enough money. I find most successful people to be middle class, actually.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
Happiness, wisdom, inner peace, good self-esteem, maturity, healthy, positive character and personality. Oh. Financial independence doesn't hurt either. ;)
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
bfly1133 I love your definition of success!! It's perfect to the word!
ummyels ummyels 9 years
wow, i think all of these comments were made by successful individuals and all of you have very insightful things to say. i'm amazed by your comments! and for me, success means doing what we are meant to do in this earthly existence. i believe our purpose is to acquire human virtues such as patience, forgiveness, love, compassion, and assertiveness. those are just a few examples of what we are capable of becoming. its most important that we try each day to become really good people. i think acquiring lots of money can be a barrier to achieving those qualities... but i'm sure some really balanced individuals can achieve both. (of course i'm not so sure i'm one of them! :)
classysassy classysassy 9 years
success for me would be happiness, attaining life's goals, and realizing true passion.
sophia_HL sophia_HL 9 years
I think I am successful if I make enough to take care of myself while still being able to have a relationship. In my last job, I worked every weekend and could never spend time with the people I care about. I was miserable. Now I am in different situation and I feel so grateful every day.
emalove emalove 9 years
I think you're successful if you have accomplished the goals you've planned for yourself. And if you're happy with the choices you've made.
chakra_healer chakra_healer 9 years
Sweating definitions of success is not something I am in to doing. I think success is something that cannot be guaged until the end of a particular era, as a student, mother, wife, business woman, etc., or ultimately, at death. If at the end of your life you feel that you lived it well, to the intentional harm of none, and others, loved ones and strangers alike agree? Then you have been successful.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
roarkoala roarkoala 9 years
You are successful when you fulfill your goals in all the aspects of life that you value. A tycoon with 5 kids and a nun in a convent will lead two very different lives but both can still be successful. Ultimately, success is a completely subjective state of being.
legalbeagle legalbeagle 9 years
I think being successful means being able to find the perfect balance of family time, personal time, and work... Im in law school but will definetly take a lower paying job to be able to have a family, career, and take care of myself... if Im able to do those three things I believe Ill be a successful woman
ccsugar ccsugar 9 years
Being happy and finding a way to balance everything in our busy lives :)
bfly1133 bfly1133 9 years
This is a difficult concept to put into words, but I will try. :) Success, for me, means living life that provides or includes happiness, confidence, contentment, appreciation for what you have, respect for yourself and others, and well-rounded relationships. Success is not defined by career, money, or status. The specifics are different for each person, even if the definition is the same. For example, one person's success might include children, while another's may include friends.
tiff58 tiff58 9 years
I think that a successful is someone that is happy, confident, and satisfied. Someone that is not lazy.
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 9 years
For now - being successful for me means - being happy & accepting in all aspects of my life, religion, relationships (all types), family, health, financial etc.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Being happy...
ladypenguin ladypenguin 9 years
Success to me is being confident about yourself and feeling happy with your direction in life. In more measurable terms, it's about setting, working toward and reaching your own goals.
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
What makes someone successful? First of all, that they are happy. The they are doing what they love and love what they do and that they have passion in their lives. I don't put money in my defintion as all. Just really your overall life being. Lots of moral support, love, and ultimate satisfaction in their life.
SkinnyMarie SkinnyMarie 9 years
I think to be successful in my own eyes is about making goals that aren't always easy for yourself, and meeting them. Being happy in life, and where you are going. Looking beyond your career to measure success, but rather at your life outside of the office. Never stop learning.
books-and-shoes books-and-shoes 9 years
Ooh good question but hard for me to answer. My interests have changed over the years, as well as my role models. Early on I believed success was more equivalent to money and status, but I definitely don't look at it that way anymore. While I consider myself more a career-minded type, the last few years I've been leaning towards domestication. The successful women I look up to now are holding it down in their homes, keeping house, raising their children lovingly, uplifting their husbands and building strong marriage and family foundations. But all in all, I can't necessarily define success because I can still admire many women with very different successful qualities.
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