What Is Success?

Everybody has their own idea of what success is to them. How would you define it? Do you think success means having a lot of money and fine material objects? Do you think it means having an education? Do you think it means having a great family or a tight-knit group of friends? Do you think it is defined by how popular you are, or how high you are up the career ladder? I bet if I asked 30 people what success means to them, I would get 30 different answers. This is because success is very personally tailored. There are certain standards by which we judge someone and ourselves as being successful or unsuccessful, but those standards are very personal as well.

Sometimes is it easy to judge another person as being unsuccessful, viewing them from what our idea of success is. But to that person, they may feel very successful, because they are gauging it from their personal opinion of what that means to them. We all grow up with different role models and different expectations, and different drives. Success to one person will not be the same to another person. Did you ever see the movie Little Miss Sunshine? It is a quirky and funny movie that illustrates this point perfectly. We all have our own idea of what success is!

I ran across a chart the other day, and I found it interesting that people who are successful and people who are not successful have very different habits. Say, you have two people working for the same company doing the same job. One person has a certain set of habits, and the other person has the other. According to this chart, we can tell which person will be more successful and why. After studying this chart, it seems that successful people have a more positive outlook, and unsuccessful people have a negative one. I think that is a natural correlation!

I found this chart very fascinating. My idea of success has a lot of depth and many facets to it. There are many meanings and levels of success to me. I feel there are some people who are successful in business, while others are socially successful. Some are successful in that they have a lot of friends, or are smart, or are great parents, or are funny, or can write. Some people are in great physical shape, and some people light up a room when they walk in. Some people set and master goals, others are successful in their health. Some people touch lives in such a way that they leave a lasting impressionable mark. The list can go on and on. When you meet the rare person who possesses all these qualitiesWOWwe really think that they are exceptionally successful!

No matter what your level and definition of success is, this chart is very accurate. If you tend to have more habits on the left side of the chart, then you will generally be more successful. Likewise, if you tend to have more habits on the right side of the chart, then you tend to be more unsuccessful in your ventures. Take a few minutes and think of someone, by your definition, who possesses habits on the left. Are they generally successful? Now, think of someone, by your definition, who possesses habits on the right. Are they generally unsuccessful?

The hard part.
Look at both sides of the chart and see which side you fall on.
I would guess that you have habits on both sides, just as I do.
I would also guess that you resonate with a majority on one side or the other.
Which side are you on?
Did you already know this about yourself before looking at this chart?
Have you been ignoring these not-so-healthy habits?
Are there some habits you can work on and change?
Are you comfortable right where you are?

I think we all have different levels of success for different areas of our lives. Some things come easier to us than other things. But, I agree with this chart, in that if we practice certain habits, we will be more or less successful overall. I have met some people who are really successful in the business world, but they are super negative, angry, and almost robotic in their social lifeso is that person really overall successful? I would say nobecause material things will fade, but your character leaves a stamp on this world. I love this quote by Ralph Waldo EmersonI think it is the perfect definition of true success! His definition lines up more with a persons character than their social and material wealth and status. I think people who have habits on the left side of the chart, naturally live by this definition:

Take Action: This week and moving forward, lets truthfully analyze this chart. Lets look at the habits that help us be successful and grow those! Lets also look at the unsuccessful habits that we have and take steps to eliminate those from our lives. Lets read these wise words of Ralph Waldo Emerson and ask ourselves if we are truly enhancing the lives of others. Lets take an honest inventory and take steps to become well-rounded, successful people in all areas of our lives!

Because Together is Better,


  1. R W E- hits the nail on the head. It’s not necessarily what you have, but what you leave behind. I have a glad heart, so my parents succeeded by my standards. I want the same for my children. If you have a glad heart, you will ❤ the life you live and you will live the life you❤. I would be selfish to ask for any more, so I won’t. I will give thanks. To me, this is success.

    I’m going to work on the left side of the column, thank you!

  2. Gigi Peterson says:

    What a great chart and love the RWE quote. Charts are great for this because you have something more concrete to measure an idea. My guilty pleasure is watching TV. I must admit, I really do love a good show. Although I hav tried to eliminate most of the “trash” that I used to watch, I still watch too much. This is a great reminder for me and will pop into my head when I want to watch TV, I will pick up a book instead!

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