What is Success?
The answer to the question, "what is success?" will depend on who you are asking. What matters most to you is probably what criteria you have for measuring your own success.
In a radio broadcast "Our Changing World" by the late Earl Nightingale, he defines success as "the progressive realization of a worthy ideal".
"Albert Bandura, one of the founding fathers of scientific psychology, discovered decades ago that perhaps the best predictor of individuals’ success is whether or not they believe they will succeed — something optimists do naturally. Thousands and thousands of experiments later, he has yet to be proven wrong.
But there is an important and often overlooked caveat: to be successful, you need to understand the very vital difference between believing you will succeed, and believing you will succeed easily. Put another way, it’s the difference between being a realistic optimist, and an unrealistic optimist.
Realistic optimists (the kind Bandura was talking about) believe they will succeed, but also believe they have to make success happen — through things like effort, careful planning, persistence, and choosing the right strategies. They recognize the need for giving serious thought to how they will deal with obstacles. This preparation only increases their confidence in their own ability to get things done.
Unrealistic optimists, on the other hand, believe that success will happen to them—that the universe will reward them for all their positive thinking, or that somehow they will be transformed overnight into the kind of person for whom obstacles cease to exist. (Forgetting that even Superman had Kryptonite. And a secret identity that took a lot of trouble to maintain. And also relationship issues.)"
Halvorson, Heidi Grant (2011-10-24). Nine Things Successful People Do Differently (Kindle Location 184). Harvard Business Review Press. Kindle Edition.
There have been many notables in history whose names are synonymous not only with success, but also "genius". Two that come to my mind immediately are Albert Einsein and Leonardo da Vinci. While Einstein is best known for his Theory of Relativity, Da Vinci is known for a much broader repertoire of accomplishments.
While most of us are familiar with the term "IQ" or "Intelligence Quotient", more recent thinking is that there are specifically different types of intelligence. According to Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligence theory, Albert Einstein had a Logical-Mathematical intelligence. Whereas da Vinci is known to be blessed with all seven types of intelligence.
The seven intelligence types are:
- Logical-Mathematical— Stephen Hawking, Isaac Newton, Marie Curie
- Verbal-Linguistic— William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Jorge Luis Borges
- Spatial-Mechanical— Michelangelo, Georgia O’Keeffe, Buckminster Fuller
- Musical— Mozart, George Gershwin, Ella Fitzgerald
- Bodily-Kinesthetic— Morihei Ueshiba, Muhammad Ali, F. M. Alexander
- Interpersonal-Social— Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Queen Elizabeth I
- Intrapersonal (Self-knowledge)— Viktor Frankl, Thich Nhat Hanh, Mother Teresa
Gelb, Michael J. (2009-10-21). How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day (Kindle Locations 241-247). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
What is Success for You? Is It About...
YouTube Video published on Aug 6, 2015
Bob Proctor shares an illuminating definition of success, provides examples of people who are successful and explains how anyone can become successful.
- Reaching a specific level of income?
- Finding your ideal partner?
- Becoming CEO?
- Having children?
- Having a certain car?
- Living in a particular location?
- Climbing Mount Everest?
- Travelling wherever and whenever you want?
- Winning an Olympic gold medal?
- Enjoying retirement with ease?
- Achieving fitness and weight goals?