Mansi asks: What is success?

December 14, 2010

 Mansi asks: What is success?Much has been written over the centuries on how societies define success. Even more has been written by philosophers, poets, and millionaires.

But not an awful lot is written by “regular” individuals on what success means to them — how they quantify and qualify this word; how they perceive it in light of their life circumstances; and when they consider it absolute.

Is it the amount of money one makes? Or the professional titles one holds?

Is it measured by the impact one has on others’ lives — big and small?

Or a sense of contentment at a “purposeless” life well-lived?

Is it always relative? Or can it be a personal sense of fulfillment?

Is it mastering something? Or understanding that nothing can really be mastered?

Is success just a myth? An unreachable, ever-evolving goal?

Tony Anders, in his guest post Success — Loosely Defined, said that “success is loving and being loved.”

I investigated this concept in an earlier post, What does a calling mean anyway? where I wondered aloud if success at having found one’s calling means an end … a destination point … a conclusion.

What happens when you discover the meaning of success? What happens when that road ends?

Is success not an overarching ideal that envelops all facets of your life? Are you always striving for success in the micro parts that make up the macro whole? Is it a never-ending quest?

I’m not sure I’ve reached the point yet where I know what success means to me.

I am not a “famous” writer, or even an accomplished one at that. I don’t earn oodles of money and, given my choice of profession, I doubt I ever will. I am not satisfied with where I am and still charting plans of where to go.

But I am content with my life choices up until now. I have no regrets. Even my bad decisions have shaped the life I lead and made me the person I am.

I am happy about the relationships I’ve nurtured and those that have, in turn, nourished my soul.

Would some people call that success?

I don’t know…

What do you, non-millionaires, think success is? What does it mean to you?

I don’t think there is one definition of the word, and I am eager to hear your point of view.

Mansi asks: What is success?

Won’t you tell?

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15 Responses to Mansi asks: What is success?

  1. BlognosticNo Gravatar on December 14, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Success is what makes you happy. Failure is what makes you sad.

    • MansiNo Gravatar on December 16, 2010 at 1:58 pm

      Wow. That’s a simplistic statement, but a very insightful one. Boils it all down to the person, aye?
      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  2. Laura HarrisonNo Gravatar on December 15, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Following from Wyoming, USA
    On the Global Hop!
    Can you kindly give me a follow back? If you stop in, please just click like on FB. It’s a pretty new page. Much obliged!

    • MansiNo Gravatar on December 16, 2010 at 1:49 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Laura. I’d love to follow you, but would love it even more if you’d share your opinion about what you think success is. Looking forward to our paths crossing again on the interwebs.

  3. Ian ClarkNo Gravatar on December 15, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Success is what you enjoy , what brings happiness and ultimately what releases you from negativity.

    • MansiNo Gravatar on December 16, 2010 at 1:42 pm

      Thanks, Ian, for your answer. Do you define what brings happiness to individuals from the standpoint of a society or is happiness also self-defined and actualized? I love that you said, success is something you enjoy … people sometimes get so caught up striving for more (even after they are successful) that they aren’t able to enjoy what they have. Thanks, again, for sharing your perspective.

  4. StacieNo Gravatar on December 15, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Being happy with your choices and your current position. Tough question!

    I am stopping by from the Global Blog Hop from Nova Scotia, Canada and am now following you.

    • MansiNo Gravatar on December 16, 2010 at 1:41 pm

      Thank you, Stacie. By your definition, it seems that success is an ephemeral thing rather than a permanent feature … a stance that I agree with. It’s also apparent that view it from the lens of the individual rather than a societal standpoint.

      Thanks for sharing your insights and also for global hopping.

  5. HeatherNo Gravatar on December 16, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Hello! What a wonderful blog! I am a new follower from Love is everywhere hop. I look forward to reading more from you. I also have a hop today if you would like to join us. Have a great day! ~Heather

    • MansiNo Gravatar on December 16, 2010 at 1:36 pm

      Thanks, Heather. Appreciate your stopping by and your kind words. I’m looking forward to reading your blog posts as well and invite you to share your thoughts on what is success to you.

  6. ShaneeNo Gravatar on December 16, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    I’m your newest follower from the Thursday Blog Hops! Come check out my blog at:

    Have a great day!

    • MansiNo Gravatar on December 16, 2010 at 1:35 pm

      Thanks, Shanee. I visited your site and left you a comment. Since you write about being a thrifty mom, I’d love to get your insights on what you think success is.

  7. leeladharNo Gravatar on December 17, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Success is success only, neither happyness nor sadness. Success must add value to you and society also, otherwise Raja is also successful.

  8. Tolle HausNo Gravatar on December 17, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Perhaps Emerson said it best: “To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

  9. Raghu V NNo Gravatar on December 29, 2010 at 6:11 am

    As you mentioned, there is no correct definition for the word success. In every success there is a failure and in every failure, there is a success. For an example, the attack on WTC in US was a failure to their national security but, it was a victory for those who support Osama. Success depends on the way we look into it. If we are going for a research on it, I’m almost sure that we will find 6 billion definitions for that single word.

    In my view,the word ‘purposeless life’ is meaningless. It doesn’t exist. No one can be nothing!

    When we are alive, we will never realize that we have achieved enough for a ‘worth living life’ but, in some aspects,even a day of survival on earth seems to be an achievement.

    Success is relative to those who can’t accept that ‘they are not always right’. I believe in one thing ‘I’m the only competitor in my game’.So, my definition to success is incomparable to any definition!

    Nice thoughts, keep writing!!




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