The Measure of Success Isn’t Just Numbers
Success is one of those elusive concepts that can be interpreted in various ways and mean different things to different people. It is often defined by the number of accomplishments you achieve. When measuring success, we often think of numbers; the amount of money, awards, or recognition we have received.
However, it’s important to remember that success isn’t just about the number of achievements or a number to prove how high you’ve climbed the success ladder. The measure of success isn’t a number.
What does success mean to you? “Too many people measure how successful they are by how much money they make or the people that they associate with,” Branson wrote on LinkedIn. “In my opinion, true success should be measured by how happy you are.”
The real measure of success isn’t just assets, awards, rankings, social followers or a number in your bank account. These metrics don’t solely define success. There’s more to success than the things we acquire.
While numbers can often be used as a measure of success, they are only sometimes the most accurate or meaningful indicator.
For example, financial metrics such as profit, income or successful investment can be useful measures of success, but they may not necessarily reflect the overall well-being or happiness of the people involved.
Many factors can contribute to success, such as personal satisfaction, meaningful relationships, and a sense of accomplishment. These things may not be easily quantifiable, but they can still be important indicators of success.
Success is a subjective experience
Some people may find success in their personal relationships, such as feeling close and connected to their loved ones. Others may find success in their personal growth and development, feeling that they are becoming the best version of themselves.
“Success is not measured by where you are in life, but the obstacles you’ve overcome,” Booker T. Washington once said.
Success can also be found in making a positive impact on others or on the world through charitable work or other forms of service. You can find success in personal hobbies and projects by having the opportunity to pursue and enjoy activities that bring fulfillment and joy.
Genuinely successful people often strive for more than just money and material possessions; they focus on creating meaningful relationships and experiences, as well as personal growth and making an impact.
Ralph Waldo Emerson explains successful living beautifully, “To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty.”
You can find true success by making a conscious effort to live a life that nurtures your values. Evaluating success through numbers is a limited approach and doesn’t always give us a complete picture of our lives. Instead, success should be measured by our impact on others, the memories we have created, and the personal development we have experienced.
Success isn’t just about how much you have or what you’ve achieved — it’s about how you live your life and your impact on those around you.
It’s pursuing your true north and enjoying the process instead of hoping for a fixed outcome. Success is creating something that will last, whether it’s a lasting legacy or simply a moment of happiness.
It’s about the journey, not the destination. “Success is not a destination that you ever reach. Success is the quality of your journey,” Jennifer James said.
The measure of success is a subjective concept that can vary from person to person and from situation to situation. Ultimately, the measure of success is a personal decision and may involve a combination of quantitative and qualitative factors.
“Success is not measured by what a man accomplishes, but by the opposition he has encountered and the courage with which he has maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds,” argues Charles Lindbergh.
It is essential to consider a wide range of factors and define success in a meaningful and relevant way to your unique circumstances and goals. It is also vital to define success for yourself and not let external measures dictate one’s sense of accomplishment or self-worth.
The real measure of success is depth
Success is an ever-evolving concept. It seems that the definition and expectations of success are constantly shifting and changing. But one truth remains: the real measure of success is depth.
Depth of knowledge, depth of experience, depth of understanding, depth of character. Depth means more than just surface-level achievements; it’s the ability to understand and appreciate the complexities of life and make meaningful contributions to the world.
It is about having a purpose and a meaningful life, and it is about having the courage to take risks and learn from failure. Depth is about finding fulfillment in something greater than yourself or your assets.
“If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank account is, your life is a disaster,” says Warren Buffett.
Real success is achieved through exploring and acquiring knowledge for life, understanding, and character. Through the growth and development of these qualities, you can reach a higher level of success, one that is more meaningful and lasting.
The real measure of success is the strength of our relationships, the impact of our actions, and our willingness to pursue meaningful experiences.
It’s about taking risks and pushing ourselves to the limits to pursue what we believe in. When we measure ourselves by depth, we can appreciate the journey and reap the rewards of our efforts.
Richard Branson concludes, “Life’s too short to waste your time doing things that don’t light your fire. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing or aren’t having a lot of fun — despite the fact that you’re making a lot of money or rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous — then it’s time to move on to something that does make you happy.”
This article originally appeared in Medium.