I haven’t got a yacht.
To be honest, I’m not really interested in sailing. But isn’t having a yacht the ultimate status symbol, a sign that you’ve truly made it?
Without a yacht or a Lambo or even a 40-room mansion, I guess I’m just not successful in life.
Unless there’s another way to measure success that’s not strictly based on materialism…?
Luckily for me, and hopefully you, too, there is.
There are lots of signs you’re more successful than you realize, and they’re based more on the quality of your life than the things you’ve got.
Success means many different things to different people.
So, if you’re feeling a little bit unsure about whether you’re really doing well in life or not, there are a lot of other things you can look at besides whether or not you’ve got a yacht.
1) You love your job
One of the biggest signs of success and satisfaction in a person’s career is if they really enjoy what they do.
Everyone knows you can work in certain fields and make a ton of money, but if the work makes you miserable, can we really call that success?
I know if I got into the assassination industry or phone scams, there’s a pretty penny to be made. I’m just not sure that these are my ideal lines of work.
What I’ve always wanted and sometimes had is a job that makes me feel like I’m fulfilling a purpose, using my skills, and producing quality work.
You can add to that a feeling of completing tasks well and achieving career goals.
Working in an environment that you really like is also something most people would trade their right arm for. If you’re able to work with great colleagues in a positive atmosphere, you can already call yourself more successful than most people out there.
2) You feel challenged
Let’s take a basic dictionary definition of success: the achievement of something you’ve been trying to do.
Even this simple definition tells us about the importance of challenge in relation to success.
To succeed, you have to try to do something and then find that you’re able to do it.
In other words, you need to have challenges and rise to them. This is what success really means, and then anything else, like a high position or lots of money, is actually a product of success.
When we say a person is successful, we usually don’t know their track record, if they even run track. But what we can see is the external signs that they’ve succeeded.
They have money and fancy things and occupy the highest tiers of status and society.
Well, no, that’s actually quite misleading.
If you’re rich because your father gave you a million dollars, where’s the success?
There was no challenge, nothing you tried to do, so there’s no success here either.
If, on the other hand, you feel like your life is full of challenges that you’re able to meet and overcome, then that’s real success that you can be proud of.
3) You’re financially stable
I know that it would be ridiculous to talk about success without talking about money.
Even though, as I just explained, money is a product of success and not success itself, most people measure success in terms of wealth.
There’s a very good reason why.
When you have just enough money to live hand to mouth, you have very little power or control over your life. Prices could suddenly go up, and you might have to go hungry. If you had to pay for an unexpected medical bill, you’d be in big trouble.
When you have lots of money, you can weather pretty much any storm that comes your way because you have the resources to support yourself or hire others to do things for you.
So, money is really a form of power, and the term “rich and powerful” is pretty much redundant.
What does all this have to do with success?
Well, how much money do you need in order to have a life that’s comfortable?
Certainly, you need more than enough just to scrape by.
If you can just barely get your bills paid at the end of the month, you’re probably going to live in a state of stress and worry. What if costs go up or something happens that you need more money for?
If you’re financially stable, though, you have enough for what you need and then some. You have enough left over to cover emergencies and keep you free from the stress and worry of knowing where your next paycheck is going to come from.
Anything more is gravy.
So, if you have this kind of stability in your life, you can definitely consider yourself successful.
4) You have great people in your life
So far, I’ve been talking about economic factors like money and career.
But is that all success in life takes into consideration?
Like Scrooge McDuck, you could have a swimming pool full of money (actually, bad idea – you know how dirty cash actually is?!) to luxuriate in every day.
But without great people in your life, I wonder how you’d really consider yourself happy and successful.
I’m talking about fantastic friends, a frictionless family, and a perfect partner… if you want one.
Ask yourself if you’d rather be filthy rich or have the best family in the world, and I think you’ll get what I mean.
The relationships we have with the people closest to us color our lives and make them rich and enjoyable. That’s a true measure of success.
On the other hand, as most lottery winners will tell you, more money can mean more problems.
Sneaky, two-faced, scheming people come out of the woodwork to try to get a piece of the pie, and that can end up making your life miserable because you don’t know who’s authentic and who you can trust anymore.
5) You’re in good health
With the incredible advances in biotechnology the world has seen in the past 20 years, you may think that if you have enough money, you can buy good health.
If anything’s wrong, you just throw enough money at the problem, and doctors can fix it.
Well, that’s only true to a point.
Wealthy people can afford quality food and the best medical care out there. But there are still plenty of diseases and conditions that they can’t avoid.
So we can consider good health to be worth more than money.
If you’ve worked hard to be fit, to eat well, and to stay away from damaging habits, and the result has been good health, that’s a great success you can be happy about.
Also, if you’ve fought through a debilitating disease or a bad accident to build your health back up again, these are successes that amassing wealth simply can’t challenge.
6) You have time
I heard a very interesting idea from a friend the other day.
We were talking about jobs that we’d hate to do (driver is #1 for me!), and of course, someone threw the classic comment into the mix that “Everyone has their price.”
But my friend turned this on its head.
He said there were some things you couldn’t pay him enough to do.
Wouldn’t you scrub toilets with a toothbrush for $1000/hour?
Well, he suggested that what he was doing was really selling his time. If he spent it all trying to make money, then when would he spend that money?
When would he enjoy his life?
Now, you could argue that you’d have lots of time to enjoy it outside of toilet scrubbing hours, but to him, it wouldn’t be worth wasting each day doing something he hated.
Do you have enough time to do the things that you like?
If you do, that’s another measure of success that many people can’t say they share.
7) You’re happy
OK, if you were born smiling and have been joyfully happy all your life, you might not see this as any sort of success.
But for the rest of us who have struggled to make our lives happy, this is one of the biggest accomplishments we’ll ever know.
This is even truer if you’ve dealt with depression in your life or if you’ve faced tragedy. Finding ways to overcome and still have positivity in your life is a huge success.
Even if you have piles of money and that yacht we were talking about earlier, if you don’t feel happy, then what kind of success is that?
Do these seven signs you’re more successful than you realize ring any bells?
I hope by reading about them, you stop looking at success in simple economic terms and instead, think about what makes a life truly successful.
Then, you can judge whether your life is successful now or if you need to set new goals to get there in the future.
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