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Life Arts

What Does Success Mean To You?

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This article was inspired by checking out a page on
How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love

The page included a collection of people discussing aspects of finding what you love. 

Alain De Botton has an interesting statement from a TED talk he gave. 

One of the interesting things about success is that we think we know what it means. A lot of the time our ideas about what it would mean to live successfully are not our own. They're sucked in from other people. And we also suck in messages from everything from the television to advertising to marketing, etcetera. These are hugely powerful forces that define what we want and how we view ourselves. What I want to argue for is not that we should give up on our ideas of success, but that we should make sure that they are our own. We should focus in on our ideas and make sure that we own them, that we're truly the authors of our own ambitions. Because it's bad enough not getting what you want, but it's even worse to have an idea of what it is you want and find out at the end of the journey that it isn't, in fact, what you wanted all along."

So, after reading this, it got me wondering about people's ideas of success. What is success to you?

I went to check out some quotes on the quotation database and found these on success. 

I'm prone to favor Thoreau, so here's his:
If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
and here's another by Thoreau:
If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal -- that is your success. All nature is your congratulation . . .

Not exactly talkin' about money or power. 

Writer/literary agent Donald Maas says,  
"What will make you successful is your stories, nothing else. Make them strong and you can do anything."  [full quote] 

Then, there's Emerson-- here are a few:
"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."  Emerson
"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail."  Emerson
"It is not the length of life, but the depth."  Emerson

But they're kind of saying how to get there. 

I'll take a stab at what success is. I hope you'll add your comments too.

Success is waking up in the morning, excited about what you're going to be doing. 

Success is working each day until you you drop, and loving every minute of it. 

Success is being surrounded by people who love and care about you-- and you feeling the same about them. 

Here are a few from my old quotation page:
You can be anything you want to be. That's a good starting place. Anything else and you sell yourself short and compromise your dreams. Your dreams have wings but no feet, no ground, until you put yourself in them and give them life.
You will never achieve anything you don't decide you want to try to reach. That's a reality.
You must decide to become who you want to be. Then you can make plans to become that person-- to learn the skills, meet the challenges, overcome the obstacles and focus the energy necessary to achieve your success.   Rob Kall


Rob Kall is editor-in-chief, publisher and site architect of, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and an inventor. He hosts the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, aired in the Metro Philly area on AM 1360, WNJC. Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Rob is, with the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.

See more Rob Kall articles here and, older ones, here. To learn more about Rob and, check out A Voice For Truth - ROB KALL | OM Times Magazine and this article. For Rob's work in non-political realms mostly before 2000, see his C.V..  and here's an article on the Storycon Summit Meeting he founded and organized for eight years. Press coverage in the Wall Street Journal: Party's Left Pushes for a Seat at the Table

Here is a one hour radio interview where Rob was a guest- on Envision This, and here is the transcript. 

To watch Rob having a lively conversation with John Conyers, then Chair of the House Judiciary committee, click hereWatch Rob speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.

Follow Rob on Twitter & Facebook. His quotes are here

My articles express my personal opinion, not the opinion of this website.

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Success for me is living consistently, and creatin... by Burl Hall on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 2:44:25 AM
csn be of two kinds:   1. The one given by ... by Mark Sashine on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 8:05:27 AM
             &n... by Theresa Paulfranz on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 9:26:02 AM
:)  Is it about adding feminine feeling to th... by Ad Du on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 12:11:17 PM
... repelled by Coulomb's Force. So let me inject ... by Ad Du on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 12:34:48 PM
For now I see success as turning up the volume on ... by Tsara Shelton on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 6:03:31 PM