On the meaning of success

Success literally means to achieve fame, wealth or respect. But, I believe that this is a very flawed way of looking at things. Let’s take the example of a mother. She wakes up early in the morning, prepares lunch for her kids, gets them ready for school, helps them with their homework and makes a wide range of sacrifices just to ensure that her child gets the best upbringing. She does this thankless job without receiving a penny for it, without getting acknowledged for her job. She doesn’t attain fame and in most cases even gives up her professional ambitions. The definition of success won’t consider her to be successful. But, she actually is successful at her job.

At times, a qualitative approach of looking at things is much better than quantification. Some words express their meanings more vividly when defined by us. Success is one such term that should be person specific and not universal.

However, a universal metric for success that everyone can relate to is happiness.

John Lenon said:

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

This is an incredibly powerful statement. Happiness is what every human being should seek in all their endeavours as it is a state of mind that is tantamount to success as well as the key to it.


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