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Sunday, 16 February 2014
What is SUCCESS in life ?
It is not immediately obvious what it means to be successful in life. The term is used generally to describe a professional success, that is, a signal achievement at work, indicated in part, but only in part, by having made a lot of money. Sometimes success means preeminence in politics or science orsports in a manner that does not necessarily imply financial attainment, but rather public recognition. Those who become famous in the arts or by virtue of charitable acts or acts of bravery are thought to be successful also. Others speak perhaps less conventionally of successfully raising children and grandchildren. That is not what most people mean by success, but a good case can be made for that achievement being especially important; and different societies have regarded the work of bringing up the next generation as critically important. Let me say what I mean by success: success is the ability of individuals to reach their own goals and achieve their own purposes. I do not mean goals such as becoming a movie star, or winning the Nobel Prize in literature or becoming the President of the United States. Or simply making more money than everybody else. By that standard virtually no one is successful. But I think it is possible for these individuals and others to find in other ways those satisfactions that are associated with those lofty achievements, namely, recognition, admiration and a sense of importance.
If I were to ask you, “how do you feel about success?” What would be your response? Most people would say: I feel great about it, I want more of it, I deserve it, I am working towards it. Why are those feelings so common? Because most of the people on this planet feel that being successful is a good thing. When they think of succeeding they think of material benefits, they think of happiness, and they think of accomplishment. Certainly, being successful can include all of these things and more.