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Old March 22 2013, 05:52 PM   #1
Gryffindorian
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How Do You Define Success In Life?

I was having a discussion recently with an on-line friend, a Washington state native. He's been doing a lot of traveling all over Europe this past year, and he said he's never been happier in his life.

When he was younger, after working for a large corporation in the IT field, he went on to go to college and graduated but still felt dissatisfied. He was also going through anxiety and depression. Years later he took an inventory of where he was and he would like to be, and having done traveling this past year has given him a great sense of satisfaction.

I tell "Peter" that I envy and admire him--that I could never do what he did and is currently doing. He's sold or given away a lot of his personal belongings and decided to live a minimalistic life, traveling from Budapest to London to Moscow to Rome to Krakow to Vienna to Dubrovnik and Bratislava. His philosophy is that he's trying to live life to the fullest and that tomorrow is very uncertain--he could get hit by a bus or get afflicted with a life-threatening illness.

Where I am in life right now, I'm not exactly miserable but am not ecstatic either. I wish I could be more like Peter--carefree, bold, adventurous. My definition of success or happiness lies not in having a six-figure salary or getting married and raising a family of my own. It's about self-fulfillment and self-enrichment, but as content as I am with the way things are, I find myself wanting more.

What's your definition of success? Does it equate happiness, peace of mind, or contentment, or does happiness happen as a result of being successful? What say you?
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Old March 22 2013, 06:07 PM   #2
thestrangequark
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Re: How Do You Define Success In Life?

I've never looked at it that way. I don't think of life as one big thing at which I could be successful.
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Old March 22 2013, 06:08 PM   #3
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Re: How Do You Define Success In Life?

To me, success is happiness. Happiness to me means many things.

It means having someone to share my life with. It means companionship, camaraderie and affection.

It means feeling fulfilled with how I spend my days, engage with work and hobbies.

It means having enough financial security that I'm not stressing over every penny. It doesn't mean having everything I want; it means having everything I need and being able to sleep at night without worrying about money. I like knowing that I will have a home that is my safe haven from the world.

It means being happy with myself, not being ashamed or apologetic about who I am physically, intellectually and emotionally. This one is the hardest for me--probably always will be. Intellectually, I am very sure of myself but the other two....not so much.
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Old March 22 2013, 06:33 PM   #4
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Re: How Do You Define Success In Life?

I was born with cerebral palsy and when I was little, my mom was told by this doctor she took me to that I probably would not live to see age ten. My 43rd birthday is in a little under four weeks. In my lifetime, I made it all the way through high school (although, how, I still don't know), and part way through college with the goal of getting a degree in communications.And, briefly had a job in a local photo studio where I developed film. It was during this time (mid 1990's) that my health started to make it impossible for me to put in a full day.

Now, I live in what used to be my grandparents house (it's mine now) with my girlfriend, which I did not even have until I was 40, (That's a subject for another discussion, suffice it to say, it had to do with my disability) though we had been lifelong friends long before we were together, and work on my computer from home.

I guess you could say I'm a survivor. THAT'S how I define success in life.
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Old March 22 2013, 06:40 PM   #5
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Re: How Do You Define Success In Life?

For me, it's the end result of obtaining the freedom to choose whatever path you want in life, and sticking to it until you accomplish what you set out to do. In the end, it's about being happy with your station in life, as well as the memories you have, and the people you love.
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Old March 22 2013, 06:48 PM   #6
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Re: How Do You Define Success In Life?

Love.

Also, being able to live life on your own terms.
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Old March 22 2013, 06:51 PM   #7
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Re: How Do You Define Success In Life?

It's a misattributed, manipulated quote, but I like it anyway.

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."
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Old March 22 2013, 06:52 PM   #8
Gryffindorian
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Re: How Do You Define Success In Life?

Very interesting perspectives; thank you all for sharing. Success will always mean different things to different people, but it seems like in a capitalistic society, it means having a rewarding career--whether it's a high-paying job or a position that has a lot of prestige.

One of my favorite quotes (by Elbert Hubbard):

He has achieved success who has worked well, laughed often, and loved much.
Also, doesn't success involve satisfying your goals or objectives? If your goal is to own a home and you've achieved it, then you are successful in that regard.
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Old March 22 2013, 07:23 PM   #9
JarodRussell
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Re: How Do You Define Success In Life?

To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.
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Old March 22 2013, 07:52 PM   #10
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Re: How Do You Define Success In Life?

I keep score by the number of lawyers I have eaten.

Also amount of bacon consumed.
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Old March 22 2013, 09:00 PM   #11
Stoo
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Re: How Do You Define Success In Life?

to crush you ene-

oh god dammit beaten to it.

ok then, to eat an ostrich.

(Apart from that, I guess success will be taking care of someone important to me.)
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Old March 22 2013, 09:08 PM   #12
Kestra
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Re: How Do You Define Success In Life?

Stoo wrote: View Post
to crush you ene-

oh god dammit beaten to it.

Oh ok, to eat an ostrich.

(Apart from that, I guess success will be taking care of someone important to me.)
You guess?!
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Old March 22 2013, 09:23 PM   #13
Stoo
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Re: How Do You Define Success In Life?

Well that ostrich is very important to me too. childhood dream and all that.

(maybe she will like ostrich also).
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Old March 22 2013, 09:38 PM   #14
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Re: How Do You Define Success In Life?

Ostrich meat is supposed to be good for you.
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Old March 22 2013, 10:26 PM   #15
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Re: How Do You Define Success In Life?

I define success as being me.

Result guaranteed.
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