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I think it can be safe to say and generalize that most people want to attain success in their lifetime.

According to the Google search engine, the definition of success is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose, or a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity.

I think it can be safe to say and generalize that most people want to attain success in their lifetime.  Whether that means achieving financial independence, or whether it means opening a business and having it do well.  Whether it means raising a family with children who love you, or being a successful partner to your spouse, and a devoted child to your parent.  Or even if it means starting a personal finance blog from scratch and have it be successful in the blogosphere.

I think it can also be safe to say that most people’s definition of success are different.  For some, it can mean achieving a goal (being able to check off those “to-do” lists) and for others, it might be to be the best in their field, or be the best at what they do when they put their concerted effort into doing something.

What Success Is Not

To me, what success is not, is being materialistic.  Just because a person drives a fancy car, lives in a fancy house, or eats expensive fancy foodie meals a few times a week does not make them a success.  I don’t think that success can be attributed to financial prosperity, fame, or fortune.  However, the standard definition of success may beg to differ.

Having a Vision and a Goal

When I started working on the blog in 2009, I really had no idea what I was getting into.  I remember for a long time I wrote had no visits and no comments.  I still kept on writing and visiting other blogs and commenting.  I know that I did want to give up because making $0.02 from Google in a month was a little (understatement) disheartening.  I spent so many hours working on html, trying to fix some kinks of the design of the website, commenting on other blogs, and writing posts.  Hours and hours and hours.  It was a fun hobby for me, even though it took up so much of my time.  I think I spent at least 15 to 20 hours a week working on the blog on top of my full-time job.

When I reflect back on where I started I am amazed that I was able to create something that later becomes even more well-looked-after by the now owners of this blog Kyle and Justin.  I am touched that some of my posts have touched many others to comment (like 100-300 long comments!), such as 9 Reasons Why I De-Activated Facebook and the Investors Group experience post.

That vision and goal I had back in 2009, people close to me thought I would not be able to achieve what I had created, and to be honest, I wanted to prove them wrong, it gave me even more drive to work on it to make it successful.

How to Be Successful

According to a Life Hack article titled “The Real Meaning of Success”, to be successful means to first define success for yourself and then to start living your life based on your OWN expectations and your OWN terms.

Then, you write out your goals, share your goals, and figure out how you achieve it.  Even if it means deconstructing each goal into smaller goals and even smaller goals.

Finally, you go and do it.  You have built up this momentum, this dream, written out your goals, and now you just have to start living out what you set out to do.  They are your goals and your expectations for yourself, not anyone else’s.

The Life Hack “The Real Meaning of Success” has a wonderful quote:

“because continuously living everyday with expectations that are not of your own is a day that is not truly yours”

It goes without saying that success is ACTION oriented.  You cannot be successful without doing anything to achieve it.  If you had fame and fortune fall into your lap, that is called luck, it is not called success.

Go ahead, get out there and seize the day!

Readers, what does success mean to you?  What are your goals and aspirations that have yet to come to fruition?

Article comments

Mat says:

Great post! I think for the most part you nailed it on the head. Success for me is about setting goals and working hard and overcoming all obstacles to achieve them. Not only is this important for these set goals, but for EVERYTHING that I do. Success comes by giving a 110%, doesn’t matter if it’s studying for exams or cleaning toilets (I’ve done both and my OCD says it can’t be half ass!). Money for me is simply a measurement of success.

Keep blogging, although some aren’t always commenting, we’re reading 😉


Great post! Success to me means having the financial freedom to do what I want in life. Once I’m mortgage-free I’ll be able to pursue other interests if I so desire. To me financial independence is like winning the lottery – it’s the greatest feeling in the world.