Thursday, February 5, 2009

The definition of success

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. - Albert Schweitzer

There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all. - Peter Drucker

The secret of success is constancy to purpose. - Benjamin Disraeli

It might seem silly for a 20-year-old to define what success is, but I can explain what in life I am working toward.

Overall, I believe that you know you have achieved success when you reach the end of your life and you have no regrets, no qualms or grudges. In psychology they refer to this as "ego integrity." It's probably safe to say that all people work towards this sort of end.

This doesn't mean that you can't make mistakes in your life. Basically, however, you should have done enough over your lifetime to be at peace with yourself in the end.

This can mean a number of different things depending on the person. To some it means founding a multi-million dollar business, for others it could be saving an old tree for other generations to see. It could be making something for others down the line or for yourself alone.

For me success is the former; I want to do something that will last. I want to succeed in being happy and it would make me happy to have a legacy. Personally I find happiness in purpose, so I consider that success for me is achieving what I've set out to do.

Is it that success means doing what makes you happy or that you're happy when you're successful? I'm leaning toward the first response.

I wonder if one's idea of success changes if they never really meet their goals.

I'm not really sure why I'm making this hub, but I think it's interesting to analyze these things, expecially early in life when my life has hardly even really started.

Stephen Downes listed the top 10 things that render one successful:

1. How to predict consequences
2. How to read
3. How to distinguish truth from fiction
4. How to empathize
5. How to be creative
6. How to communicate clearly
7. How to learn
8. How to stay healthy
9. How to value yourself
10. How to live meaningfully

Some of these I can see businesspeople saying to themselves... communicate clearly, be creative. Generally these tips seem to encourage individuality, which is positive; being yourself is the key to being happy, I believe.

I would like to know what others consider success is in life. Maybe it will help round out my own ideas, but I always like to see what others think.