General Question

GAMBIT's avatar

What is the true measure of success?

Asked by GAMBIT (3852points) May 12th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

31 Answers

bythebay's avatar

I think that’s probably a different answer for different people. Some would measure their success by happiness, others by financial gain, and still others by freedom. I don’t know that there is one correct answer.

dynamicduo's avatar

Success is whatever you define it. It’s like you’re setting up a ski course, and you have the flags in your hand and can decide wherever you want to plant then. Then you try to run the course. You can also go edit the flags, move them around and reset your goals, then try the course again.

For me, my ultimate success is to own a house with land on it and to raise animals and grow veggies. It’s also to have fun and to enjoy my life. So long as I am continuing on the course to these goals, I am successful, but I would officially be successful once I fully paid off the mortgage and was happy with my life. My success has nothing to do with money. I value happiness over finance.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Whatever the person deems to be success for themselves – I’m sure it has to do with how happy they are and with how much they feel they’ve tapped into their potential

TROLL's avatar


squirbel's avatar

There are two measures of success: think, duality.

The external measure – how others perceive your success; and the internal measure – how you see your success.

Where your perception of this reality comes in is when you choose which one is more important to you: the external or the internal.

Some choose the external, and strive to appear successful. Some choose the internal, and strive to be successful. Still others find a balance between the two, but not many.

diduwutididthar? I placed my bias in the internal.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I measure success by my level of happiness. Right now, it’s in the highest reaches of the gauge. Of course, I’m sure the fact that it is Spring, I am gainfully employed in a job I really like, and I am married to the most understanding woman in the world might have something to do with it, too. I am also pretty healthy for a guy my age.

If I was any happier, I’d like to bottle it and sell it on eBay as the cure for what ails you.

TROLL's avatar

@squirbel so the true measure is internal success.
The superficial trappings are a fraudulent display of success so therefore not a true reflection.Would you agree?

GAMBIT's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra – glad to hear it.

squirbel's avatar

Well, I obviously put my bias on it. There are some who believe that success is directly related to how many people admire/exalt you.

I am not here to say one man’s choice is less than mine, I simply believe what I believe.

GAMBIT's avatar

@squirbel – Your thoughts are welcomed. Thank you

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

external displays of success are an artificial measure of success. I have known people to have it all and to act like they are destitute. Success, to me, is measured by internal gauges, not how big of a boat you have in the garage. The more you have, the more you have to worry about losing it. Living simply is the best way.

MrKnowItAll's avatar


squirbel's avatar

What about kilometres per litre? :D

GAMBIT's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra – such is the life of the sages.

wundayatta's avatar

Success is whatever I don’t have. A moving, dodging target.

It’s cool. I don’t think about it any more. Except when someone asks a question like this.

squirbel's avatar

I beg to differ, mr. racecar man.

just let me find that link again….

PapaLeo's avatar

A high lurve score.

squirbel's avatar

lurve doesn’t mean anything.


Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@squirbel I’m sure @PapaLeo was being sarcastic

squirbel's avatar

Sarcasm or no, doesn’t mean I won’t respond in kind.

PapaLeo's avatar

Well, actually @Simone_De_Beauvoir, it was PapaLeo’s lame attempt at humor. Thanks, at any rate, for standing up for me.

But, actually [adjusts glasses], what is “success” unless it is valued by your peers? Otherwise, I’d agree with @TROLL that we’re talking about fulfillment.

VS's avatar

Success is something that is measured by the individual and only by them. Call it fulfillment if you must, but there can be no success until one believes themself to be successful. It is whatever measure you place on where you want to go and how quickly you get there. For me, having a career, raising a child to adulthood, and owning my own home were all measures for me. I could care less what others think about how successful I am. Others never saw the struggle and consequently cannot comprehend how successful it was for me to achieve the marks I had set for myself.

GAMBIT's avatar

@VS – Great answer. Thanks

Knotmyday's avatar

Being able to say “Damn I’m good!” and mean it.

YARNLADY's avatar

@VS You got that right.

cak's avatar

For me, it’s a roof over my family’s head, power on and food in the fridge. Content children, husband and yes…even me. The animals are content, too.

Not too much of any one thing. Having what we need. That’s success. It’s worth being home and working from home. My husband’s job and his business…it’s worth all we do.

bea2345's avatar

@cak – you may not know it, but you have just defined happiness.

cak's avatar

@bea2345 Thank you. I am lucky enough to know it. I don’t take it for granted, either. Thank you for saying so, it’s the best thing I’ve heard in a long time. Lurve to you!

Coloma's avatar

I agree, true success is an inside job.

I choose integrity, happiness, simplicity ( yet living well ) over the worlds view of ‘success.’

I drive a 12 yr. old car but I have time & cash to travel.

I’ve never been a mainstream type, don’t believe in being enslaved by debt and ‘stuff.’

Living well means just that, LIVING, not being a robot to the gluttoney and angst that modern society mummifies most with.

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