Most people look to have success in their lives. However, success means different things to different people. The Macmillan English dictionary gives three definitions for the word success -
1. the achievement of something that you planned to do or attempted to do
2. a plan or an attempt that achieves good results
3. the fact that you are successful in your career or profession, especially when you become rich, famous,
It can be satisfying to achieve a goal, to succeed. This form of success can be very personal and not impress other people. It could be something like achieving the adoption of a simpler, more peaceful lifestyle. Others may feel it is the opposite of their own definition of 'success' as it does not have the trappings of wealth and material possessions.
Sometimes it takes a long time to achieve success and it may require persistence. Jon Bon Jovi is quoted as saying, 'Success is falling nine times and getting up ten.'
Many think of 'success' in terms of the third definition found in my dictionary. They may consider film stars, television personalities, popular singers and well known authors to be successful because they are rich and famous.
People have different advice about how success can be achieved. Successful architect and businessman, Charles Luckman said, 'Success is that old ABC - ability, breaks, and courage.'
'There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure,' claims American statesman and retired general, Colin Powell.
Some people assign a label of success to people in professions such as lawyer, doctor, politician or university professor. They may look at a person's large house in an upmarket neighbourhood and judge him/her to be a success.
There are people who are respected but are not rich. They may be well known so in that way they are 'famous'. These people can be seen as successful in their field but perhaps in a somewhat different way from the rich and famous group.
Some people don't see riches as equating to success. Bob Dylan says, 'What's money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.' His friend, Tom Petty holds a similar view and says, 'Do something you really like, and hopefully it pays the rent. As far as I'm concerned, that's success.'
There are other people who have been quoted for saying things with the idea that success is not about money but doing something you have a passion for. Christopher Morley, an American writer born in 1890 said, 'There is only one success - to be able to spend your life in your own way.'
Success means different things to different people. Some may manage to become rich and famous while undertaking something they are passionate about. Others may be viewed by many to be a success and they may label themselves as successful in a materialistic sense, but they aren't happy. Then there are those who feel they are successful because they are satisfied with their life. Scottish-American industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie said, 'There is little success where there is little laughter.'