Some of the most common measures of success are wealth, title, and happiness. It really depends on individual’s priorities and life stage what provides more satisfaction to them.
In a nutshell, success is basically meeting your expectation or your goals. However, it does not always translate to happiness / fulfillment. How many times you set a material goal for yourself and after to achieve it, you feel like “so that’s it”? Most of the time you enjoy the process than the end result.
I agree that it’s not easy to define success. Cognitive biases and external pressures get in the way of people realizing what they actually want in life.
I’ll try to define success through an alternate perspective…. By understanding what’s opposite of Success. You guessed in right – FAILURE.
Technically when you don’t succeed, you fail – but really, is it failure? As long as you are alive – really speaking it’s not. The only real failure is giving up, everything else is learning.
So formula is to make clear and right goals and then make small improvement every day.
It is highly important to discover what you value and choose your own metrics for success. If you don’t choose for yourself, you’ll end up flowing with the current of the culture around you, which may or may not be fulfilling for you. It is natural tendency to measure our success in comparison to our peers. If your friend is making more money than you, you might feel like a failure. Social comparison bias is a cognitive bias that explains that our judgments are often influenced by comparisons to other people. It helps to keep reminding yourself of what’s important to you and keep your focus.
The real success and key to happiness is to make small improvements everyday towards your goal. Do your best and be your best every day. If you do that you will be happy and success will be a bi-product - a guaranteed outcome.
I’ll be happy to learn your perspective and comments on this. Feel free to contact me if there are any questions.