Success (and Judging the Success of Others)

This is something I haven’t really spent a lot of time thinking about, but I think it’s a good barometer on what type of person you are. It came about because I read an article posted by George Takei essentially mocking a social media website called RichKids that has a monthly fee ($1000/month). I’m not one to be offended when people claim that money is everything, or that they’re “better” because they’re rich, so the site he was pointing out didn’t bother me at all. I don’t even really think any of the posts he shared were really trying to claim that to be honest, but that’s not the point of what I’m writing anyway. I mean, the site is basically the country club of our generation.

What bothered me about the entire thing was when I was reading the comments. It’s insane to me how quick people are to judge the people who have paid for the site – so many of the comments were ripping in to them for having done nothing in their life but inherit money, but my question is – how do you know? So many people were claiming the people who pay for the site are horrible people, but in judging that it seems more telling about the person making the comment about people who they have never, and likely will never meet. The comments were almost entirely people claiming these people weren’t successful – which got me thinking about success as a whole. For one, I think having enough money to never have to worry about it again is in itself being financially successful, but their are definitely different areas and levels of success.

The biggest thing it brought to my attention was how fast people are to judge others success, when it really shouldn’t matter what other people seem to think. Do you consider yourself successful? Then you probably are. Success should be based on your own personal goals and what you’re looking for out of life, not what others may think of you. For me, I’ve come to the conclusion that I myself have a few different levels of success, some more important than others.

For example, I wouldn’t consider myself to even being close to financially successful at this point. To those who say money can’t buy happiness, sure to a point. But not having to stress about it would make a huge difference, and you could claim in that way to a point it can. I think as a person, and sticking to my own personal values, I am successful. That’s a part of my life that took a lot of effort and thought, but I’m at a point where I am happy with who I am. I’m not going to alter that at the expense of my own happiness to change someones opinion of me. I’m not going to go too far in depth on what I consider successful in my own life, to be honest that’s not the main purpose of this post. It’s not about me, my successes (and failures) in life don’t have anything to do with you. Neither should a strangers, nor should my opinion on what you consider a success matter. If you consider your life successful, it is. That’s not for anyone else to decide.

Nobody claiming something is a success should effect you negatively, ever. If you can’t be happy for them, keep it to yourself. If you have something you’re proud of, then you should be. Don’t let anybody take that away from you.

All that said, I’m curious about everyone else’s personal definition of success. Do you think there actually is an arbitrary barometer, or do you think everyone has their own successes? I think it’s a good social discussion to have!