The Definition of Success — Its True Meaning


It is no coincidence that you find yourself reading this article. You were obviously in search of the true definition of success or you would not have clicked the article link. Your quest to define success, led you to the usual reference sites like or and found their definitions read something like this — having attained wealth, status, honors or the like or having a favorable termination of an attempt or endeavor . Now take a brief moment and ask yourself these three questions, basing your answers solely on the definitions that were previously stated.

1. Do I consider myself successful?
2. Do I have all the wealth, material possessions, status, or honors I desire?
3. Has the outcome of my endeavors been favorable?

Did you answer no to one or maybe all three questions? If so, are you (even for just a moment) thinking, "I guess I'm not a success; and If I'm not a success then I must be a failure." Yep, if that's what you're thinking, then you're absolutely right, a failure you are. However, do not get discouraged, success is still attainable even for the "failures" of this world.

First things first. Stop measuring your success by the typical definitions found online and in other reference materials. If you do not, you will forever see yourself as a failure. With that said, let's take a moment to learn and digest another definition of success, probably the best you'll ever hear. This definition of success is not found on any mainstream website or in any hardback dictionary. it comes from a man by the name of Earl Nightingale. Mr. Nightingale was a motivational speaker back in the 1950s / 60s and was known as the "Dean of Personal Development." He defined success this way — "Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal."

Wow! That's worth reading again — "Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal." Let's take a moment to break that definition down so that you can truly digest the true meaning of success.

Progressive — meaning to make efforts towards continuous progress.
Realization — turning something imagined into a reality.
Worthy ideal — something that warrants great merit and excellence.

Look at it this way — Success is the continuous effort of taking something of great value that you have imagined and working toward it until it ever becomes a reality. Is not that awesome! No matter what your ideal ideal is, you are a success as long as you are making continuous efforts to turn your dream, your goals, your desires into a reality. So, do not get caught up with the fact that you have not attained it yet, just stay focused, set daily goals, and before you know it, you will attain it.

To Your Success!

Belinda Mays