The definition of success (səkˈses) in the dictionary is:
1. The accomplishment of an aim or purpose;
2. The attainment of popularity or profit.
I was raised and taught by my parents that successful people were happy with themselves and made a positive impact on the people around them. But when I was in middle and high school, I attended a school where the prevailing attitude was that you were only successful if you achieved fortune and fame. The more money you made, the higher your degree of success. In defense of the school, which was, and still is academically great and where I met some really fantastic people, I don't think they realized it.
Fast forward 30 years... I have not made a ton of money... yet (lol), nor has my life even gone in the direction I thought it would. "Lately it occurs to me, what a long strange trip it's been". Those lyrics sure fit my life. I have some regrets over things I have not become and accomplished, but my life is far from over. All in all, I am happy with myself. I also like to think I have a "quiet impact" on the people around me.
The song I Was Here by Lady Antebellum has a line in it that I am striving for. "I wanna try to touch a few hearts in this life... And leave nothing less than something that says I was here."
If I can accomplish that and be happy, then I'll think myself a success. See, I consider the following definition from Ralph Waldo Emerson to be the correct one for success.
"What is success? 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; That is to have succeeded." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Now... some views from other people. What, you thought I wouldn't list some quotes??? lol.
"Success is often achieved by those who don't know that failure is inevitable." - Coco Chanel
"The only place in life where you find success before work is in the dictionary." - Mary V. Smith
"Impatience never commanded success." - Edwin H. Chapin
"If you want success, then don't rely on other people to do what YOU can do!" - Sasha Azevedo
"Success is that old ABC - ability, breaks and courage." - Charles Luckman
"You must learn from your past mistakes, but not lean on your past successes." - Denis Waitley
"Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success." - Joyce Brothers
"The great success of a successful marriage is to treat all disasters as incidents and none of the incidents as disasters." - Sir Harold Nicholson
"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude." - Thomas Jefferson
"Learn to adapt. Things change, circumstances change. Adjust yourself and your efforts to what it is presented to you so you can respond accordingly. Never see change as a threat, because it can be an opportunity to learn, to grow, evolve and become a better person." - Rodolfo Costa
"Along with success comes a reputation for wisdom." - Euripides
"They can because they think they can." - Virgil
"We are all motivated by a keen desire for praise, and the better a man is, the more he is inspired to glory." - Cicero
"Keep steadily before you the fact that all true success depends at last upon yourself."- Theodore T. Hunger
"The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen." - Frank Loyd Wright
"The surest way not to fail is to determine to succeed." - Richard Brinsley Sheridan
"The secret of success is to know something nobody else knows." - Aristotle Onassis
"A failure is a man who has blundered, but is not able to cash in on the experience." - Elbert Hubbard
"There is only one success--to be able to spend your life in your own way." - Christopher Morley
"Success is sweet: the sweeter if long delayed and attained through manifold struggles and defeats." - A. Branson Alcott
"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will." - Vince Lombardi
"Success is refusing to accept defeat." - Zurek
"I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure--which is: Try to please everybody." - Herbert Bayard Swope
"The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes." - Earl of Beaconsfield
"Success does not consist in never making blunders, but in never making the same one a second time." - Josh Billings
"Success is the good fortune that comes from aspiration, desperation, perspiration and inspiration." - Evan Esar
"If you wish success in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother, and hope your guardian genius." - Jospeph Addison
"The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do, well." - Henry W. Longfellow
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no use being a damn fool about it." - W.C. Fields
"Try not to become a man of success but a man of value." - Albert Einstein
"Success is the accomplishment of that which most people think can't be done." - C. V. White
"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out." - Robert Collier