Home > Success > The Definition of Success: Possessions, Happiness, or Both

The Definition of Success: Possessions, Happiness, or Both

dictionary success definitionAccording to Merriam-Webster, success is either “a favorable or desired outcome or the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence.” Does this definition leave you thinking, “Huh?” Yea, me too. Let’s look at some more practical and literal definitions of success.

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.

People tend to measure success in material possessions or monetary terms.

Everyone has a different definition of success and I would say none of them are necessarily wrong, whether that means being happy with what you do, meeting personal and professional goals, getting continuous promotions, living in a nice house or driving nice cars. In my opinion, success is what you make of it. You may or may not agree with me, but here’s how I define success…


I’ve always said I want to live in a nice big house, with hardwood floors and granite countertops, drive a nice luxury car, have all the latest and greatest gadgets and all the fun grown-up toys like boats and ATV’s. But I won’t be able to do that until I become successful of course. So are possessions the definition of success?


Some people say having a job they enjoy is the key to success. But what if you really love to volunteer? Is that successful? I would say so. As long as you’re good at it, you make a positive impact, and you enjoy it, then you are successful.


While everyone’s definition of success may be different, my definition involves a perfect balance of possessions and happiness. I think a successful person has the money to buy the things that he or she enjoys, but at the same time is happy with the way he or she makes their money.

So now it’s your turn to tell me your definition of success. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Image Credit

Webpage Credit:
Success – Definition from Merriam-Webster
Success Quote 1 – Virtual Happiness Institute
Success Quote 2 – Business Personal Coaching

Related Articles:
What Does Your Car Say About Your Success?
The First Step to Real Success
Who’s Definition of Success are you Living By?

Categories: Success Tags: , ,
  1. April 26, 2011 at 10:45 AM


    This is a great article and poses a great question – How do you measure success? Many people have a vision in their mind, and they hope to obtain this vision. However, often times when they reach this peak in their desires they are left unsatisfied and longing for something more.

    I believe it was Daniel Kahneman who gave a TedTalk on success related to economics and the results of his study were quite fascinating. Surprisingly the threshold for economic satisfaction was at $60,000. Those making less, seemed have more issues pertaining to finances, but after $60,000 people became complacent and were relatively satisfied or happy regardless of additional income.

    I think your article is a great reminder that not only can one not buy success, but that success, much like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

  2. April 30, 2011 at 8:24 AM


    I apologize for taking so long to get back to you on this. I think you brought up a good point that once people reach a certain success goal in their lives, they are happy, but only for a certain amount of time. I think this is okay, though, because goal setting should be continuous. Once one goal is reached, you should develop a new one. Never stay stagnant.

    That’s really interesting about the $60,000 study that Daniel Kahneman did. It just goes to show how people can underestimate a financially sound lifestyle.


  1. May 24, 2011 at 5:21 AM
  2. June 14, 2011 at 7:23 PM
  3. July 10, 2011 at 10:05 AM

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