Does a True Measure of Success Really Exist?

Does a True Measure of Success Really Exist?

Is there a true definition of success?

Is there a true measure of success? Had you asked this question a year ago I would have said yes. All you have to do is compare your accomplishments to those trying to do the same thing as you. Or compare your money to others. Or maybe a comparison of lifestyles. You can use these factors as measurements, but is it really a fair comparison? As I said, a year or so ago I would have jumped at the chance to scream ‘yes’ to this question, but now I have a different opinion. Here’s why:

People Are Different, Therefore Measuring True Success Will Be Different

The main problem with trying to nail down “success” is that people are different. We all come from different experiences and have different backgrounds. And education, experience, upbringing, parental influence, friends, etc. all have an impact on who we become and what we want to achieve in life. And because of these many factors I believe understanding success becomes much more subjective and a lot less objective. Success is left up you and what you are trying to get out of life. And because we are all so different, success will vary based on the person.

Success Comes In Many Forms

Secondly, success does come in differing forms. Someone once asked me a question. “If someone sets out on a journey, but never reaches the destination, was the journey embarked upon for no reason? Was the journey unsuccessful?” My answer was ‘no’, the journey was not unsuccessful. But the truth is I cannot know whether or not the journey was a success or a failure because it is not up to me to decide unless I’m that person on that journey. Only the adventurer can answer the question. Someone from the outside can only view the journey objectively, but they don’t share in the experience. The person on the adventure may have a completely different view for themselves of what success looks like and it may have nothing to do with the end result.

Is it possible that someone can achieve success by simply taking the first step of the journey? Could it be that you can achieve success by not stopping when your body begged you to stop? Also, could it be possible that there were many personal successes along the way? All of these things could be true and all could result in success for the adventurer even though they never reached the destination.

It is my opinion that one true measure of success does not exist. Success is absolutely relative to our personal experience and should not be judged objectively; true success is up to the individual person to determine. What I am realizing now is that you usually experience things you never expected when you set out on a journey. And even when you have goals and a plan, life has a funny way of completely ignoring both and teaching you what you really need to learn.

What do you think?


8 thoughts on “Does a True Measure of Success Really Exist?

  1. I think you’re spot on. If we realise that success is something individual and not a competition measure we will probably feel more successful even if we do exactly what we’re doing before realising that.

    1. I spent many years comparing myself to others and it definitely took the shine off of a lot of my experiences. I don’t see much value in doing so.

      1. I agree. It’s better to think of something else than comparing. I think it’s more fun doing things then. Experience your own development could be fun.

  2. I agree with your points . Success is in the eye of the beholder. You may think someone is successful but they will not think they are a success. And success is such personal matter. A tiny victory over something can be a huge success to one person and not worth noting to another.

  3. I am so happy you have come to this understanding. Now you can heal that pain and let it go and be free of it. With millions of people on this planet, and each on their own individual journey, how can we compare ourselves to another? Doing so is a disservice to each person. Heck twins look alike but are completely different people and shouldn’t be compared. One of the worst statement to come out of anyone is “Why can’t you be more like_____.”

  4. To some, just getting out of bed in the morning is success. To others they have to achieve more and more to consider themselves successful. I have sympathy for both but would try my best to help with whatever they needed. That trying to help would be success for me, whether I succeeded or not!

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