Success Is Relative – What Does It Mean To You?

What is success to you? Is it having everything together? Being in total control over everything in your life? Could it be never-ending joy and happiness? Is it having financial freedom or owning that house on the hill or driving a Rolls Royce?

Success if different to different people. To one person, success is achieving all the goals that they’ve set out to accomplish. For the next, it could simply mean living a life full of joy and happiness.

Success is defined as: an event that accomplishes its intended purpose; or a state of prosperity or fame;

The dictionary provides a skeleton type definition of success. However, it’s up to you to determine what success means to you.

What influences your view of success?

I’ll never forget the series that used to come on TV entitled, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. I guess there’s really no need to go into depth as to what the show is all about. The title pretty much sums it up.

This television series had the great ability to paint the perfect picture of success, in the eyes of it’s many viewers. It featured people who lived in extravagant homes, drove extraordinary automobiles, traveled the world, and then some.


The media has a way of painting the picture into our minds of what true success is. I believe propaganda is the word that comes to mind. It’s almost as if to say- if you aren’t living the lifestyle of the next man, or you have achieved the things that this and that person has achieved, then you haven’t achieved success.

Maybe success is raising a healthy family and seeing your children live past eighteen. Maybe success is planting a tree and watching it grow to be tall and strong. Could success be overcoming a condition that the doctors said there was a little to no chance of you overcoming?

I write on the importance of dreaming and dreaming big. But I think it’s important that we establish the fact that, although we set high goals and visions for ourselves, it does not mean that we aren’t successful.

I think we put such a high bar on success. I can readily identify with the first portion of the definition of success as it states success as an event that accomplishes it’s intended purpose. What is your main purpose in life? Is it to be among the world’s most rich and famous?

Think on these things:

  • To the depressed man, success could mean happiness and peace.
  • To the drug addict, success to could be to overcome the addiction and sober up.
  • To the man bound in shackles, success could mean freedom.
  • To the lonely person, it could mean making a life-long friend.
  • To the homeless, it could be to obtain a roof over their head.
  • To the hungry family, it could simply mean a bite to eat before dying of starvation.
  • To the naked man, a simple shirt on his back would suffice.
  • To the neglected, it could mean being loved.
  • To the lost, a sense of direction would do the trick.
  • To the expecting mother, a healthy newborn baby is all that matters.

Remember, life is a gift from God. Life is to short. It’s important that you accept who you are. Love yourself for the achievements that you have made at this point. Make a decision to live in the moment as you charge forth on your journey of life.

Photo credit: Photo by Axel Bührmann

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Author: Jarrod Clark (754 Articles)

Hello and welcome to my blog. My name is Jarrod Clark, author and founder of OptimisticJourney.com and my goal for this blog is to provide inspirational messages for maintaining an optimistic outlook on life. To find out more about me, check out the About Jarrod tab at the top of the page and if you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact me! Thanks!

2 Comments

  • At 2010.04.20 09:28, Tess The Bold Life said:

    Hi Jarrod,
    This is very thought provoking. As for the rich and famous they are no more successful than anyone else. Stuff doesn’t make someone that way. I like Mother Teresa’s quote, “The only thing we take with us when we die is the love we left behind.”

    I rate my success by how loving I am everyday.

    • At 2010.04.23 07:14, Jarrod Clark said:

      Welcome Tess,

      I believe you’re right. The rich and famous are no better or no more successful than anyone else. I think that there is just as much challenge in loving better as it is in anything else. Thanks for stopping by!!

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