What is Success?

This post was first published as part of a Publication on Medium, called Pause. If you like this one and want more such articles which make you stop and think for a moment, then definitely follow it on Medium.

An office discussion with Harini Sundaram and Ameeta Sane led to us arriving at a slew of posts on Quora pondering on Success.


Then, there were more questions on Purpose of life and how success is related to it…purpose-of-life

And some more on how to change your view on success


In fact, Quora has a topic on Success. The questions on this topic vary from Students discussing study tactics to Entrepreneurs discussing failed product ideas.

So what are some of the popular notions of success?

Some of the answers on Quora are defining success as an aimed end state. Something which we set out to seek and achieve.

“Whether you are successful or not depends on you, not on others. If your goal was to open a pizza shop and you did it, you’re successful in what you wanted.” — Absar Naeem

While what Absar is saying makes sense, however, if our definition of success is an external achievement, then success suddenly gets defined as a binary switch. If you have achieved the target, then you are successful.

Whatever happened to the act of making an effort and the right attitude in chasing the target?

If you end up choosing a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG), then it would take a humongous effort for you to be successful. Who would run after the BHAGs of the world?

Even, if the lofty goals that the UN has lined for themselves (and us) seem hard to achieve, is it not a success that we tried?

Take Climate change for instance. How many of us are aware that at this juncture, the rate at which all the countries are generating carbon emissions, it already might be too late for the planet. So what, do we stop living, or do we stop consuming fossil fuels altogether .. pfft! as if that’s going to happen.

What about our choice to change? Isn’t that a moment that needs to be noted in history and treasured. The moment where we as a planet, unitedly decided to fight back against the global climate problems.

Life can be a series of “moments of success”
Life can be a series of “moments of success”

That’s a “moment of success”, for humanity.

Success is in our hands to define and perceive and not in the eyes of the world. By one small change in how we perceive of success, we can see so many opportunities of success.

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