The Definition of Success

What is success? I remember doing a NLP training many years ago. When the teachers asked the class about the definition of success, I was the only one answering the question with an answer not related to money. My definition of success is about feeling good, doing what I like to do. Wealth is living with the people I love, caring about others.

I’m not against making money. I like money. The difference is that money is just not that important to me, it is not dominating my life. I too would like to have a huge bank account; I just don’t want to have it at all costs. I can be happy with and can be happy without it. Sure, money makes my life a bit more comfortable, but it is not affecting my overall level of happiness. I can be happy in a little one room apartment or in a luxurious mansion. I can be happy doing a five star cruise or doing a hiking trip.

Looking back at that training it is no surprise that most people answered the question about success with a money related answer. In our western society, so dominated by money, having lots of money is almost a synonym for being successful. We measure wealth by the size of someone’s bank account. We measure success by the number of possessions we own. Having more is better. Having everything is best.

Gathering all these possessions is hard work and takes up a lot of our time. Keeping them may be even more difficult and challenging. How much time and effort do you invest in having things in your life which are not essential? Do you really need that SUV? Or is it just another status symbol, trying to impress colleagues and the neighbors? And what is the cost of maintaining this kind of luxury? Doing overtime, spending less time with the family, trying to pay off that extra loan?

And now we’re talking about your job, how much prestige is involved in that as well? What is the cost on your private life if being a “successful” business man or someone important means you are making long hours and never around for the kids? How would your kids react if you ask then what if important to them?

Maybe having a little less is better and may improve your overall quality of life. Now to me that would be real wealth and a successful life.

This is just my personal opinion on the definition of success. There is no right or wrong here. I offer you only another perspective to wealth and being successful, and how this may or not may relate to money. To me money is a means, not an end.

There are many different views on wealth and success. Depending whom you ask and what their (cultural) background is, you will get a different answer. What I would like to know is your opinion on success. What means wealth and success to you? I would love to hear from you what your definition of success is.

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