The Only Real Definition of “Success”

You can explore this right now, without the aid of an internet search engine. You need only look inside yourself.

Consider how quickly you can answer these questions:

  1. As a child, who could you always count on to be there when you needed help?
  2. What teacher had the greatest impact on your life?
  3. When you were growing up, which of your friends’ parents represented the ideal role model?
  4. What coach or boss taught you lessons you’d most like to teach others?
  5. Which one of your friends would you most want your children to behave like?

Chances are, you could quickly answer these questions. (In fact, if you couldn’t answer them quickly, it’s probably because you had to decide between more than one excellent choice.) Each of these people has had a direct impact on your life. While society might consider their accomplishments trivial, your life would be totally different without them.

What does this say about society’s values? What does this say about your values?

In addition to having many fathers, “success” has many definitions. Your challenge: You must choose the definition most appropriate to your Lifetime Dream. For example, a football player should not measure his success by the number of home runs he hits in a season. (Home runs have nothing to do with football.) Likewise, failing to win a Nobel Prize may have little relevance to successfully raising a family. (The Nobel Prize has nothing to do with raising a family.)

In the end, we are left with this singular definition of success:

“There is only one success—to be able to spend your life in your own way.”

— Christopher Morley, Founder and editor (1924-1941) of Saturday Review

You are now ready to begin your journey to discovering the unique purpose of your life. Before you can unlock your own inner secrets, it will help you to first better understand how some familiar history can help make things simpler. In the next several chapters, we’ll reveal this to you in three parts.