What’s success to you? Do you consider yourself a successful person? Have you ever thought how society’s view of success is impacting in your own definition of success?
If we look back a couple of years ago, most of people would say that success is having a powerful position, working for the same company for more than X years, or having billions of dollars in a bank account.
But the world is now full of people that used to have a “successful life” according to society’s definition - working in a big company and making lots of money - that decided to stop everything they were doing to find their way towards happiness: finding their purpose, helping people or just having more time to spend with their family and friends - and they now consider themselves more successful and, most important, happier than ever.
So what does success have to do with happiness and can both coexist at the same time?
A recent survey with some of the world’s most powerful and impressive people showed that they don’t necessarily consider themselves successful because they’re rich or powerful. Instead, they often talk about relationships, wellbeing, and societal impact.
Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, for example, says that in his opinion “true success should be measured by how happy you are.”
For Bill Gates, the wealthiest person in the world, success is about relationships and leaving behind a legacy.
Also Stephen Covey, the popular author of “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” has a good tip for us to think about being successful: “If you carefully consider what you want to be said of you in the funeral experience you will find your definition of success.”
This Linkedin survey took a closer look at what success means to professionals in the world and found out that Australians are defining success in terms of being happy (77%) and healthy (71%) over earning a six-figure salary (18%).
According to the same study, Australians would prefer for success to be defined differently for different people (69%) and believe that success comprises of both long-term and short-term everyday wins (50%), rather than achieving status.
The results proves that the world is changing and people are now viewing success more holistically instead of putting success in the money and power lights. People are starting to understand that success does not define them: it’s not what they do or accumulate that matters, it’s who they are becoming and their impact in others lives.