Success is here – it all depends on the second letter

I ended my previous post with the question “How will you measure your life?” Another way to put it would be to ask “How do U define your success?”

Do you have a vivid picture in your mind what success and what being successful looks like for you?

Success - that's what it looks like

Success must be “seen” into life through forming images. Because you can’t hit a target you can’t see.
It has been shown that people who do have written goals tend to develop a system to live up to them. Those who don’t, drift.

Without goals success is impossible.

Otherwise how would you ever know that you achieved success? Success comes from what you count.

Luckily, there is no test paper to hand in at the end of life, so there is no way to fail!

To get you started on this classic but essential and very personal question here are a few randomly listed goodies about success from various sources I have come across and like to remind myself of occasionally.


1. Most people say they want success, but the truth is that they really don’t want it at all. They don’t want to do the things that will bring them success. For example, people aren’t successful because they have money. They have money because they are successful. Most of us want the results of success, but not the responsibility that goes along with it.

“Successful men become successful only because they acquire the habit of thinking in terms of success.” – Napoleon Hill, author


2. There are no short-cuts to success.  So suck it up, stop whining, work smart, find your niche and be great at it.

“There is no success without hardship.” – Sophocles, poet

suck up the problems = success


3. Long-term success has more to do with the ability to constantly shrug your shoulders at the world’s unpredictability than it does constantly being right. Having a big gap between what could happen and what you need to have happen to meet your goals is priceless. Success in life is measured by the ability to anticipate change.

“If we were always realistic about our chances of success, we would never take any risks; we’d be too depressed.” – Daniel Kahneman


4. Mistakes are an integral part of the success journey. If you get the learning out of every mishap and misstep on your path, you are successful.

“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
“Success breeds a disregard of the possibility of failure.” – Hyman Minsky


5. Failure is feedback; there is no win or lose, only win or learn. In order to be truly successful, we might actually need to be willing to experience more negative emotions and failures – or, at the very least, to learn to stop running quite so hard from them.

“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.” – Oscar Wilde


6. If you want to become successful fast you need to look at the things that cause success and failure, instead of looking at the end result.

“Let’s be honest. We don’t know for sure what makes us successful. We can’t pinpoint exactly what makes us happy. But we know with certainty what destroys success or happiness. This realisation, as simple as it is, is fundamental: Negative knowledge (what n o t to do) is much more potent than positive knowledge (what to do).” – Rolf Dobelli


7. Emotional stability, optimism, control, conscientiousness and determination are all vital to people’s success in life. In fact being open to experience and conscientious is four times more important than intelligence in predicting academic success, a new research review finds.

“90% of success in life is just showing up.” – Richard Wiseman


 8. Any success that happens at the expense of your health, your family or your character is not real success.

“The unconscious assumption behind for example all the actions you take as a businessperson is that success is a future event, and that the end justifies the means. But the end and the means are one. And if the means did not contribute to human happiness, neither will the end.” – Eckhardt Tolle


9. Having lots of money is not success in itself. In our culture, “What are you worth?” is a question about your finances and utility, not your character. To be a “success” means you have more at the end than you did at the start. We say “you can’t take it with you” but we behave and judge as though we could. Why?

“If you want to have more, you have to become more. Success is not something you pursue. What you pursue will elude you; it can be like trying to chase butterflies. Success is something you attract by the person you become.” – Jim Rohn


10. There’s little correlation between hard work and success, but lots of correlation between solving other people’s problems and success. No one cares if you moved a mountain. They only care if they needed the mountain moved in the first place.


11. We all have the brainpower to be successful. But whether we have the willpower is a different matter, altogether.

“Success is a system in which courage and perseverance are important elements.” – Florence Scovel Shinn


12. We’re all taught from an early age that trying harder is how you succeed in life. This is good advice but going overboard in some areas in life can backfire if you’re not able to handle disappointment and failure on occasion. Learning how to deal with success is easy but learning how to handle disappointment is a skill that doesn’t get enough attention. Your ability to deal with the ups and downs of your life and career is your power!

“Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.” – George Patton, General


13. Various scientific studies have proven that if you learn how to deal with other people, you will have gone about 85% of the way down the road to success in any business, occupation, or profession, and about 99% of the way down the road to personal happiness. The people I know who are the most successful, and enjoy life the most, are those who ‘have a way’ with other people. But be mindful of who you spend time with. Choose your environment.

“I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is: Try to please everybody.” – Herbert Swope


14. You are already successful if you take responsibility for your life and career. If you blame your problems on other people or the Big Bad World in general, then you are still working to become successful. Successful people know they are not victims of fate. They take control of their own lives!

“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.” – Steve Maraboli


15. Master your 1440 minutes each day because time is one of the secrets to “success”. Spend them on good habits.

“The fastest way to success is to replace bad habits with good habits.” – Zig Ziglar


16.Success = The Freedom to be myself in an organized way.

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson


17. Success = If you can’t distinguish between work and pleasure. If you know what you love to do and what you’re good at, you are successful.

“The rule of my life is to make business a pleasure, and pleasure my business.” – Aaron Burr US Vice President


18. If you are not an A-student, but only a C-student, you can still succeed. Because the word “success” has two C’s and no A’s. And three S’s. So, when you have a Social circle around you who Support, give Solace, and love you and vice versa you are already successful.

“I’m just a square in the social circle.” – Betty Hutton


19. You are successful if you find joy in little things and celebrate every triumph, even when other things in your life aren’t going well. Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.

“Happiness comes before success.” – Albert Schweitzer


20. The road to success is always under construction. The purpose of success is not necessarily the achievement of a goal, but the self-knowledge that you gain in striving toward it.

“You are successful when you remember that the point of life is the journey, not the destination.” – Liz Ryan


As expected there is no single-almighty-absolute-omniscient definition for success. Success is a relative term (not least because it brings so many relatives).

After having studied so much about success for me it all boils down to these two rules for personal success:

  1. Don’t tell all you know.


  1. Very cheeky ending 🙂

    Reminds me of the Buffet 2 rules and the 3 types of ppl (those we can count, those who can’t)

    • Nice one.
      Often in life things do not add up. Or how else could it be that always 80% of the people believe they are above average drivers / lovers / investors?

  2. A good read in the morning 🙂

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