What Does Success Look Like to You?
We all see success differently. Our aspirations are influenced by our upbringing, our environment, our image of ourselves and the people we live and work with. For some, success is not about having more money, nor is it about simply feeling happy, for others, those things may be the measures they use to define success.
The Theory of Success
There has been a great deal of research carried out, to find out what makes us feel successful. Some of the best known work was done by Abraham Maslow, a New York psychologist and academic who studied human behaviours in the first half of the last century. His work is called the Hierarchy of Needs and what he said was simple. Without covering the basic needs, you won’t have the time or inclination to worry about anything else. In order of importance these needs are:
- Food, water and warmth. This is all that matters when you’re cold and hungry.
- Personal safety. If you feel threatened, little else matters.
- When fed and safe, you begin to want to be with other people.
- With other people, you want to feel needed and respected.
- When you’re respected, you want to realize your dreams and ambitions.
In our modern society, the chances are you are already at number four or five on the list. Success then is really about feeling that you belong, that you are noticed and that what you do is good for both you and the people around you. It sounds simple, but of course the complexities of life make it quite difficult.
10 Types of Success
Here are ten types of success that are very different, but all important for different people. They are in no particular order:
- Material success – money, cars, holidays, jewelry
- Emotional success – relationships, self-esteem, contentment
- Intellectual success – learning, understanding, challenging
- Physical success – health, fitness, vitality, appearance
- Evangelical success – influencing others, promoting your ideals
- Environmental success – home, garden, saving the planet
- Commercial success – enterprise growth, profit, reputation
- Spiritual success – sense of purpose, belonging, reason
- Time success – longevity, time management
- Collective success – the product of effective teamwork
How do you define success? Which of these types of success are the most important to you, or is your definition of success something completely different, that could be added to this list?