The True Measure of Success Isn’t Wealth

The dictionary uses these synonyms for success: favorable outcome, triumph, Hollywood ending, prosperity, affluence, wealth, riches, opulence…and the list goes on.

How do you measure success?

I remember the day an older woman leaned over to me and whispered that the couple who had just entered the room prospered in her eyes: “They have money!”

That simple statement has haunted me ever since. I can honestly say that my concept of success has never found a basis in the wealth of any person. Instead, I view success by a person’s compassion, contributions to their community measured in personal efforts, and the respect shown to others.

Success requires effort and consistency in your approach.

Do We Measure Success Only Through the Bottom Line?

Measuring success through profit is a question we all need to spend some time analyzing. I worked for a company that sent toxic chemicals into a creek and downstream to a major river. When I discovered what was happening, I immediately went to the President of the company and told him to correct it, or I had no choice but to report it. I thought he’d fire me. Instead, he apologized and fixed the problem. Disposing of toxic chemicals properly is expensive, but what is the cost to this country if we dump toxins into our streams and rivers?

My greatest sorrow in the business world was in watching as my client companies began the process of downsizing, rightsizing, and outsourcing. I watched as brilliant men and women close to retirement were relieved of their duties in the interest of corporate profits. The company I worked for provided commercial credit resources to businesses both large and small. I watched in dismay as jobs transferred to other states and foreign countries.

Success Is So Much More

I look at my sons with tremendous pride. They are truly the two most important accomplishments in my life. I taught my boys to respect women and to treat everyone with dignity and compassion. We taught them that life is never a “free ride.” They needed to earn money to buy their first car. We also expected them to pay for gas and insurance. Were we too harsh? I don’t think so.

My sons learned there were consequences to inappropriate actions.

They were lucky. I told the boys daily about the men in my life who stood apart from the norm: My Grandfather was the kindest person I’ve ever met. Uncle Bill was the most honest man around, and my Father-in-law was the fairest man I’ve ever met.

These are the things I value more than all the riches in the world.

Which Attributes Describe Your Definition of Success?

  • Honesty
  • Compassion
  • Respect
  • Confidence
  • Humility
  • Patience
  • Wealth
  • Positive Attitude
  • Communication Skills
  • Dedication
  • Transparency
  • Focus
  • Cooperative Spirit
  • Passion
  • Integrity
  • Stoicism
  • Open-mindedness
  • Authenticity
  • Dedication
  • Persistence
  • Generosity
  • Accountability
  • Empowering
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Vision

Have I missed anything? Please share your other measurements of success in the comments below. Brian Tracy has a great infographic you can pin to remind you what you need to do to become successful. Also, here are 5 TRAITS THAT SET GREAT LEADERS APART FROM THE PACK.

Success is within your reach.
Success depends on your passion in achieving greatness. Only you can judge what measures attaining your goal!

Success Is Attainable

My grandfather taught me that I could do anything I wanted to do in this life, as long as I believed in myself. That “I Can” attitude followed me through my professional career. My accomplishments won awards and created a lifestyle that was both comfortable and enjoyable.

Success is within your reach. The real key is in striving to make every one of the attributes listed above second nature in your daily life.

You can’t measure success by the money in your pocket. It has never been the determining factor. Your contribution to family, community, and country is what will determine your success.

Make your life count for something. Strive to become  the best person possible. Everything else will fall into place, and you’ll find you want for nothing at the end of the day. Your success in attaining the goal will bring hope and inspiration to those who follow behind.



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