What does success mean to you?

Let’s discuss it. Let’s open up this conversation!

This topic was triggered by a recent social experiment carried out by A Plus in support of Strayer University to readdress the definition of success.

Why do we judge ourselves so critically? We are forever dwelling on areas of ourselves that need improvement that we forget to celebrate our most important achievements.

We’re better than we allow ourselves to believe we are.

So what is the current definition of success?

Suc·cess \sək-ˈses\ noun
the attainment of fame, wealth, or social status.

It saddens me to hear and read about how today’s modern society perceives success. It has become all about winning or losing in life; who has done better. And it all comes down to possession, power and prestige.

A few years ago, Alain de Botton spoke about our ideas of success and failures at a Ted conference. As witty as he was about the topic, he was also brutally correct.

I’m drawn to a lovely quote by St. Augustine in “The City of God,” where he says, “It’s a sin to judge any man by his post.” In other words, hold your horses when you’re coming to judge people. You don’t necessarily know what someone’s true value is. When we think about failing in life, when we think about failure, one of the reasons why we fear failing is not just a loss of income, a loss of status. What we fear is the judgment and ridicule of others. And it exists.

So what does success mean to you?

It could be getting your dream job, ace-ing that exam, being able to speak in front of a crowd, or just being able to get out of bed in the morning.

Being true to oneself and living authentically is to live successfully.

Ever heard of the phrase that we are the sum of the people we surround ourselves with? It’s true! So surround yourself with the right ones. Those that make you happy. Those that support you and who’ll love you unconditionally, regardless of your success or failures in life.

True happiness also comes from filling your time with meaningful pursuits that you’re passionate about.

Your journey to success is far more valuable than the destination. “It’s not about the goal. It’s about becoming that type of person that can accomplish the goal,” Tony Robbins.

Never stop learning. Never stop growing. Never become stagnant.

It is in your reach. Own it.

So here’s Strayer’s new definition of success..


happiness derived from good relationships 
and achieving personal goals.

I’m ready to readdress the definition of success. Are you?

Join Strayer in Petitioning Merriam-Webster to



4 thoughts on “What does success mean to you?

  1. If the value of goals change as you mentioned, the extent of success probably corresponds and changes with it. With this important distinction, I must say that the definition/description you made in your article on true happiness (“success”) is better than Strayer’s definition. :)

    As you have written above: “True happiness (also) comes from filling your time with meaningful pursuits that you’re passionate about.”

    Of course, we have to address “meaningful” or the importance of individual happiness vis-à-vis success, maybe in philosophical terms. But this is probably better left to a future time :) Do enjoy your weekend! :)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very intriguing question indeed! Agree with you that the definition should be changed.

    I have a thought though: is there a possibility that you are still unhappy after achieving the personal goals you originally set out to achieve? And what does that mean to the definition of success then? ;)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good question! Your personal goals are forever evolving with time though. In a sense, it’s not just about physically achieving your goals but also being emotionally satisfied with how you’ve gotten to that point. We learn and grow during our journey to achieving our goals, and with that, the value of our goals change too.

      Liked by 1 person

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