Owner: Kool
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Measure of Success -
Gulblah says
I always wonder, success, how do you measure success? what are the basis of being deemed successful? Is it a benchmark that an individual establishes and goes by, or is it society that labels one as?

And its implications - do people lead their lives according to the code of success? to gain success? does it affect our socio-economic status quo?

And finally, does it matter if 'people' consider you successful. Is the perception of social acceptance more important than achieving 'individual' success? and what influences it?

These are three fundamental areas that I would like to get opinion on. Note that they can be ranked as primary, secondary and tretiary progression of ideas and hence, when answering, I would appreciate if your thought pattern has similar progressions.

Looking forward to responses...
Total Topic Karma: 23 - More by this Author
Gulblah says
+4 Karma
"Lonewolf", someone on orkut, put it down as a measure of success, and that's the first time I came across such a definition, so thought I'd share it:

"The day begins and we all start to run the race of life. Some stop, some fall, some keep chugging on, couple of lag behind, but, a few run till the end. These are the ones that succeed, but alas, they forget that their success cannot be seen or shared by others as there are none to share it with, the rest are far behind. So success in life leaves us alone, so the perfect measurement of a person's success is by measuring his loneliness."
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Admin Jawad says
+3 Karma
[email protected] Never thought about that before. Though, I think humans are never comfortable with their level of achievement. Success is a relative term. If you are the only student in the world, it wouldn't matter what grade you achieve. The level of success depends on the success of other people. It is competition.

Adam Smith wrote "In competition, individual ambition serves the common goal. Every man for themselves"

This is the basis of human nature. Though, if you want to get technical, it is also possible for two parties to be successful at the same time (technical term: Game Theory).

So yes, it does matter whether people consider you a success or not. Success is relative.
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Waqas A. Baggia says
+5 Karma
success is subjective. it is when personally someone is in content with each other. acheivement of a goal or a task. someone might be successful in the eyes of someone and the opposite in the eyes of someone else, they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but success is measured by the image in the mirror.
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sanket.dash says
+3 Karma
Success is in my view the social acceptance of a person X contribution to promoting that society's norms.It is socially relative .
- 27 October, 2006
Waqas A. Baggia says
+3 Karma
but when do we draw the line of social acceptance and personal satisfaction. though it may not seem comparable, if u were the last person on earth, how would you define success then? i find that definitions should be isolated like free body diagrams. if a tree falls in a forest, and no ones around, does it make a sound. yes it does, as the vibrations ossilate which produces sound, scientific fact.
- 27 October, 2006
Gulblah says
+1 Karma
but if you were to consider to have achieved success because of it being percieved as such by the society at large, while keeping the 'tree falling' scenario in perspective - then you essentially are getting into a so called viscious cycle, an argumentum ad contradictum, bleh ....
essentially success is nothing but what an individual considers it to be. Be that societal or self-directed, it can be treated as success, granted that progress in the dimension being sought was achieved.

In my opinion, that would be the most bland definition, but one that can perhaps withstand the 'scientific' rigour.
- 28 October, 2006
Isomorph says
+2 Karma
For how to measure success of contries see this video.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7996617766640098677&q;=techtalks gapminder
- 17 November, 2006
Isomorph says
+2 Karma
I just found this.


Psychologist Produces The First-ever 'World Map Of Happiness'
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061113093726.htm
- 18 November, 2006
Raito Yagami/Epps says
+0 Karma
Can someone make a guide for academic success in school?
- 14 December, 2006
anwar says
+0 Karma
Be like Raito Yagami?
But yes, no kidding, being a prodigy is what academic success in school is. Top in class, top in sports and create/do something nobody else in school did.

Success in life for me defined when you're at 60(or maybe 80-90 ) and it is whether you feel satisfied with what you're doing in your whole life. Other peoples perception doesn't matter.
- 24 January, 2007
RyeGye24 says
+0 Karma
Success = Karma
- 25 January, 2007
Josh Simmons says
+0 Karma
Perception of success is helpful but not what anyone should be aiming for. As with most things your own internal ability to validate yourself in the face of adversity is integral.

I always find it kind of odd when people discuss specific words or concepts because words are vague inherently as opposed to ideas which though often much more complex are easier to define and are not nearly as subjective.

To me personally success is the alignment of all of your daily activities with your passions and life long goals such that when you wake up in the morning you would be content doing what you are doing that day even if it were your last. Steve Jobs was right on with that, if you ask me.

But to others, success may be money, freedom, material goods, enlightenment, any number of things. It seems to me that anyone's personal definition of success shouldn't be formed until they know their life goals, or at least life themes. I guess to be succinct, direction first, definition second.

I think that was sort of scattered ... sorry .
- 27 January, 2007
Rob Masson says
+0 Karma
"Success" is an interesting and elusive concept. I looked up the definition on Wikipedia and it listed (among others):

- a level of social status
- achievement of an objective/goal
- the opposite of failure

Clearly the last two definitions are more "tactical" and short term applications of the conept while the first implies a larger content which I beleive is the root of your question. What the definition does not discuss is that the attainment of a "level of social status" is very contextual to the social group you are identifying with.

I would posit that our internal concept of "success" is based on our decisions about what social groups we wish to associate ourselves with. My accomplishments, be they financial, social, literary, or whatever are measured in comparison to the members of that group (or groups) and their value is assessed based on some form of measure hopefully applied arbitrarily. That's a very long way of saying that "success" is measured by your relative performace to your peers. The good news is you get to choose who your peers are.

I thin it is the choosing that contributes to happiness. If I choose to measure my success against a group that I do not share common goals and views with then even if I do very well (accumulate large amounts of money, fame, etc.) then I will still not be "happy" as these accomplishments do not align with my own internal interests and values.

A great example of this is the Open Source movement. It is composed of people who value the creation of good software and enjoy the process of creating it far above any monetary reward. In that social context success is measured by the quality, quantity and impact of your contributions.

Success is a measure applied to you by a social group. Happiness is a state you achieve by choosing the groups you wish to beling to wisely and working hard to contribute to and being appreciated by those groups.

Rob
- 06 February, 2007
CamouflageNoise says
+0 Karma
I guage my success as follows:

Give myself some type of goal. Normally to get through the day without killing someone or making an ass of myself somewhere. It can also be a goal to do homework or to get something done in time.

I don't think success can be measured in long terms. There is nobody who has done everything s/he has ever wanted and did everything to the utmost of perfection. Nobody is perfect. So success should be measured in pieces. If you had to apply it to something larger, apply it to your life. Let's say you make it through life, whether you were a bad person or a saint, than you would be successful in life. Life is not the pursuit of happiness, but survival. We've evolved to survive, no more, and no less. If I've done that, than I've done all I could.
- 06 February, 2007
Rob Masson says
+0 Karma
CN,

you are right in saying that no one is perfect, but I have to disagree that success cannot be measured in long terms.. I think you have to have somelong term goals to strive for and they represent the greatest affirmation of achieving success. Getting through college, working on a multi-year project, buying a house, investing, being a parent, all of these things take years to come to fruition and represent our capacity to sacrifice in the short term to gain in the long.

In my darkest of days I look back on the times in my life when I persevered for the duration to achieve a larger success and draw strength from that experience.

Rob

- 12 February, 2007
(Unregistered) not important says
+0 Karma
hmmm, well i dont know how you can measure success. Certainly not a ruler. quantitatively, you can probably measure success as being proportional to money (that might be too obvious), and there will also have to be other factors included which i cant think of now that contribute to your money gain or loss, and compare it with how well you can survive in the world.
- 13 February, 2007
Rob Masson says
+0 Karma
NI,

I think trying to measure success purely along the financial dimension is very materialistic. I look at many aspects of my life that represent my greatest successes and they have nothing to do with moeny and everything to do with being invested in people that I care about. Don't get me wrong, having money to facilitate that is really good.. But the gifts are soon forgotten, the care and compassion are not.

Rob
- 13 February, 2007
(Unregistered) not important says
+0 Karma
true, the definition of success contains many variables.
- 13 February, 2007
Rob Masson says
+0 Karma
Yes there are many variable... however the good news is that the equation is a Limit... You just need to solve for Age "a" where a approaches about 80 or so... *grin*
- 14 February, 2007
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