Writer | Marketer | Creative

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What Does "Success" Mean, Anyway?


There's so much talk of success among our generation. Entrepreneurs who finally go through that big IPO, developers who've created the next big thing, or the overachiever who lands that big corporate gig right out of school. It's all over the place!

It's what we use to judge our own lives, and what we're constantly searching for in some capacity. But what does "success" mean, anyway? You can successfully complete a task. You can succeed by achieving whatever it is you want to do. But that's not success.

Success is when you've gone as far as you can with what you've been given. Success is when you've reached the top of your tier, when you've cross the threshold from mostly learning to mostly teaching. It's where you're the leader everyone instinctively thinks of.

I successfully drive to work everyday. I've successfully written and published this post. I've successfully done a million things, but that doesn't make me successful.

I've succeeded at starting several blogs. I've succeeded at getting married. I succeed in things every day, but that doesn't make me a success.

Success happens when a person makes the most of what he or she wishes to make the most of. That's worth repeating. Success is about making the most of that which you wish to make the most of.

It's not about being the wealthiest or most intelligent. It's about doing the absolute best of your ability, continually growing and learning and improving until you're in the top of your field, whichever field you want that to be.

If your thing is underwater basket weaving, then you're successful when you become the best underwater basket weaver around, when organizations think to call you first to teach their classes or to hold seminars.

If your plight is to escape poverty - to make the most of what you've been given by jumping up a social class - then you've achieved success when you're able to fully support your family, and provide whatever opportunities you want for them that you weren't given.

If your thing is writing, you attain success when you become a leading blogger or best-selling author or a writer for TV's top show(s).

If your thing is business, then you can call yourself successful when your business holds majority market share, or when everyone in your industry is begging to hear you give your Top 10 Tips.

If your thing is being a preacher or generally leading people through their daily lives, then your success comes with your influence on everyone in whose life you make a difference.

Success is not about achievement. It doesn't matter what impressive things you accomplish, or how many things you can check off your to-do list in a day. What matters is that you sculpt yourself into the best person possible, that you're always trying to be better than you were yesterday, and that you eventually turn to helping others do the same.

Success is making the most of that which you wish to make the most of. Where are you trying to succeed?