The Definition Of Success

By Basia Alicia Powell

I feel like success has been poorly defined for many of us. In most cases, the definition is derived by a measurement or perhaps a comparison between and among persons based on lifestyle and our abilities to acquire more things. I have come to realize that success is more intangible than we realize.


Success from my perspective, has more to do with the level of joy and happiness you experience wherever you are in your life. For instance, what difference does it make becoming a lawyer, teacher, doctor or politician, when you would rather be doing something else?

What difference does it make, if you are living in a mansion, driving an expensive car, but you are not driving home to happiness. Don’t get me wrong. It is also possible to live in a mansion, drive a fancy car, and be truly successful. My point is, you cannot truly claim success without joy or happiness being present.

On the other hand, there is a man somewhere in a house half the size, that is paid off or almost paid off for, who thoroughly enjoys driving home to his family, despite their possessions or lack there of. That man chose joy over a tangible evidence of success. That man chose to follow his heart and do what he loves, and with whom he loves.


Like many people, I have had a lot of time to think about my life and my perspective on “Creating The Life I Want.” My perspective has changed somewhat. I have come to realize that success can never be present where love and happiness is absent. Success cannot be felt if the soul is compromised. Most of all, it cannot be faked.

Success Cannot Be Faked

So many people are trying to fake success. Most of us were taught to measure our success by another person’s experience. This is why social media has been so impactful. It is filled with people trying to show you how successful they are.

Bloggers Are Selling A Lifestyle

Many of their followers are left feeling inferior for not being able to enjoy the same or similar lifestyle. Bloggers are selling a lifestyle all day, all night. Their lifestyle is transactional. They get paid to fool you. If you are not happy with your lifestyle, despite your accomplishments, you end up feeling less than adequate because you are measuring your lifestyle with their “accomplishments”.

However, if you are in touch with what feeds your soul, you will not be distracted by these “successful actors.” You can fake success, but you cannot fake happiness. Happiness is free. It don’t cost a thing. The funny thing is happiness can exist without tangible evidence of success, but real success cannot exist without happiness.

For as long as I have lived, I have never witnessed so many lives lost in a 9 month period, like the year 2020. None of the deceased were able to take their “tangible success” with them. Hopefully, many of them enjoyed loving relationships, had happy marriages, and truly lived their dreams.

It’s Ok To Admit When You Are Not Ok

Life is too short and precious to “wing it”, and to pretend to be enjoying an existence that you are not. I recently learnt that it is ok to admit when you are not ok. The real joy and success comes after you do something about “not being ok”.

If you truly want to know if you are successful, ask yourself first if you are truly happy. Are you happy with the career you are in, the person you are married to, or with your life in general? If the real answer is no, then ask yourself, “Am I truly successful?”



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