What is it? What is success? I recently had a discussion about this with someone and was just curious to know what various people think about the term “success”. How do you know when you are “successful”? When you have “made it”?

9 Responses to Success

  1. cantinflas says:

    That term is entirely subjective, but I think it boils down to whether you have met the goals of whatever type you have set for yourself.

  2. Jordan F. says:

    True. But once one meets goals, there is still always more to accomplish.

  3. cantinflas says:

    …and if you don’t accomplish more, by setting further goals and achieving them, you aren’t successful? I don’t think that’s true, so my statement still seems accurate to me.

  4. Peter LLC says:

    I reckon part of the difficulty in defining success lies in reconciling exogenous and endogenous definitions that may change over time and space.

    For example, success for a blue-collar worker dreaming of a better life might entail a desk job and the freedom to blog on company time. But her boss sure won’t mistake the life of a cube dweller for any kind of success, and after a few months, perhaps the worker will readjust as well. The boss’s definition of success might rely on the recognition and praise of others, and as long as that remains outstanding, no raises, Blackberries or company cars will compensate.

    While I wouldn’t say that others’ expectations always trump personal determinations of success, one can’t easily ignore them, especially when they involve notions of some kind of Faustian drive, a world of ever expanding horizons.

  5. john f. says:

    Success might simply mean being able to provide for yourself or your family, if you have one.

  6. Jordan F. says:

    Ultimate success in the Gospel context is obviously attaining the Celestial Kingdom with our families, although that will be because of Christ’s atonement rather than anything I do. Still, even once we reach that lofty sphere, won’t we still be working toward something?

    I also get PEter’s definitions that vary depending on who is looking.

    After thinking about this a little more, I have decided that success is an attitude more than a destination. What do you think about that?

  7. The question is whether “success” requires winning or not.

  8. Kristine says:

    The Latin suggests movement–going from a lower point to a higher. I sort of like the non-static implications–that we succeed by continuing to climb.

  9. Jordan F. says:

    Thanks, Kristine. Although I must say- that definition of success is exhausting to consider. Can’t we ever just sit still and enjoy? Then again, I think I would get bored quickly sitting still…

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