The Meaning of Success and How to Define Success in Life


This article about accomplishment is going to explain the meaning of success and shall answer the question: “How to define success in life?” In the following, you can find a definition of success and what it means to be successful in life. (For a more detailed explanation of success, have a look at: what is success. Also, be sure not to miss: how to measure success and what does success mean to you.

Definition of Success:

Success (the opposite of failure) is the status of having achieved and accomplished an aim or objective. Being successful means the achievement of desired visions and planned goals. Furthermore, success can be a certain social status that describes a prosperous person that could also have gained fame for its favorable outcome. The dictionary describes success as the following: “attaining wealth, prosperity and/or fame”.

How to define success in life?

The only person that can answer the question above is you. I am neither able nor willing to prescribe the ultimate definition of success, as this is not possible. Every person is thinking differently about being prosperous in life and is defining success in another way, so there can’t exist a definition that is suitable for all. It is very important that you know exactly how to define success in life! Make yourself aware what accomplishment, success, and prosperity in general means to you in your life. Some might define success as having luxurious cars and a huge mansion, whereas others consider a life full of joy and happiness with their family as the true meaning of success. Once you have figured out what is important for you personally you are able to focus on your visions and goals.

The meaning of success

One of the most important key steps to achieving success in life is to know the meaning of success for your personal life. The true meaning of success goes far beyond the common definitions of success, such as having a lot of money, being wealthy, having a lot of tangibles and earned degrees. Quite the opposite: true success in life cannot be measured with the above-named factors, but instead with the amount of people that are able to live a better and more advanced life because of what you created. This is the meaning of success. Not the trophies people are collecting in their lives. Media and society let us often conclude that living a successful life means to be extraordinarily wealthy and have a lot of tangibles. But the meaning of success is to live a happy life and to make this world a better place for everyone.


Is a fancy sports car really the definition of success?

Definition of failure

The opposite of success is failure as it means to fail while trying to achieve aims or objectives. Besides this regular definition of failure, it also can be said that even wealthy and successful persons fail in their lives. Just think about the rich and famous and all their scandals, addictions and suicides. All of them were extraordinary persons but a lot of them were also extremely unhappy with their lives and were not able to see the meaning of success. Wealth cannot be defined with money, but instead with values in your life that make you a happy person, such as friendship, relationships, and your family.

  1. The difference between accomplishment and success:

    Accomplishment is often associated with success, but it is not the same. Accomplishment refers to the results we desire when we attempt to reach specific goals. Basically it is the results that we plan or expect to occur. Success is the positive consequence or outcome of an achieved accomplishment.

  2. The definition of accomplishment

    Accomplishment can be seen as the process to become successful and with every accomplished goal you take a step towards prosperity and a life full of success.

How to achieve success in life?

  • The process of becoming successful starts with elaborated goal setting
  • Define a strategy and a plan how you intend to reach your goals, aims, and visions
  • Keep in mind that success is the consequence of having earned a series of accomplishments, so make sure to divide your goals into easier to reach subgoals

Success quotes:

In the following, I have found some very inspiring and motivating quotes that shall accompany you on your journey to achieve happiness.

Action is the foundational key to all success. ~ Pablo Picasso

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other. ~ Abraham Lincoln

Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure. ~ George Edward Woodberry

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. ~ Jim Rohn

Keep in mind the meaning of success and always try to remember how to define success in life, so that you will be able to live a life full of happiness and joy.

Photo by Fabio Aro

The article Accomplishment – The Meaning of Success and How to Define Success in Life was presented by Personal Development Blog.


About Author

Steve is the founder of Planet of Success, the #1 choice when it comes to motivation, self-growth and empowerment. This world does not need followers. What it needs is people who stand in their own sovereignty. Join us in the quest to live life to the fullest!


  1. Success is different for everyone. What success is for one person might be completely different for someone else, much like happiness.

    Success certainly isn’t money, just ask the majority of people with money and they will give a different definition of success than those with less money.

  2. I love the way you define success. Like me, I define it different than others. To me, success is about taking action and moving toward the direction that we want, as long as we never give up. I even featured you on my blog.

    • Hi Shawn, thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment. I like your definition of success! After all, is it all about taking action and making progress in life? So you definitely are living by a supportive definition of success. And thanks for featuring me on your blog! That’s highly appreciated.

  3. Success is not what you think you achieved; it is what others think you achieved. So, don’t try to be successful, because it is less likely that you would be successful by trying , even if you will, it is like buying judgement of others about you at the cost of your own fun, enjoyment and happiness – you may get success but at the cost of your own happiness or enjoyment. What good a success is, if it costs you happiness and joy.

    When you live life for your own enjoyment and happiness, success or failure does not matter. After all success and failure are just judgemental words. Those are always indications of others judgement about you. Do you really want to be judged by others? I think the most don’t. Instead of consciously trying for success just participate in everything your do for your own enjoyment and happiness and success or failure does not matter as long as you are happy and joyful for what you are living for.

    • We need to come up with a different word for success defined by yourself, or success defined for you by others.

      A failure is catastrophic when viewed by others if they are not on board with the goal you are trying to achieve. They don’t understand why you keep breaking your bones on a skateboard because they don’t buy into your desire to be the next tony hawk. For you though, every fall is a lesson learnt to becoming better. The same ‘failure’ is seen differently.

      Alternatively, ‘success’ works in a similar way depending on your goals vs those of others. Winning a big contract for your company might be seen as a good thing by your loved ones and colleagues, but might serve as a massive stumbling block to chasing your own dreams as it makes it harder to change directions.

      In any case, thanks for the article Steve. People need this!

  4. Steve thanks for this article, am a fun of reading on line but non of it comes to me with the force and impact like this one has. With immediate effect am planning to resign my job and go back to that which makes me happy even though it does not pay much compared to my present job. Thanks again for the good work. I wish to read more from u in the future.

    • Thank you so much Bright! I’m glad that you enjoyed reading this article. However, I think it is quite important not to act out of an emotion. If I were you, I would not instantly resign my job. Instead, I would try to slowly build up a second profession so that you can switch to a solid foundation once you have quitted your day-to-day job. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.

  5. It’s curious how many people feel that success is important. Even more curious that so many want to measure life in terms of success and failure. And most curious of all, that we feel it important to measure life in the first place.

    Being successful is not something I often think about. When I do it comes from a bad place in me, it’s a bit needy, about wanting acclaim and recognition, about feeling judged. So I have come to see a concern with success as rather unhealthy. That is just me of course.

    Mainly, I just want to live, to sleep well, enjoy my morning cup of tea, listen to this piece of music rather than that, smile, scratch my belly, pick up a book and read it or not, work, potter, play. To be and to do without thought of accomplishment, success or failure.

    But thank you for the piece, it helped me see how these things are for me.

  6. Success is to never give up, it is about self fulfillment, it is about setting goals and aiming to reach your full potential regardless of where you are in life or the position you hold. It is about working hard and having the ambition and drive to succeed in all you do. It is about accepting that life is not a bunch of roses, we all experience challenges and have to face up to many difficulties along the way but we generally get through them with gut determination and strength. Success is about embracing the things and people that make us happy. Success is to be supportive of one another and to care and to share, only then you find true success and be at peace in your life.

  7. Dr V Vatsala Sree on

    Success is being able to achieve 25% in four key aspects of life that includes Health.. Personal life including family and friends…Job satisfaction and Having enough money ( where enough is a relative terminology).. Then once life will be 100 % successful.. There are many who achieve 100% in one aspect and fail to achieve at-least 25% in rest and fail miserably overall ( the examples include many ). Remember in this process it is very crucial that we remain honest.. sincere.. hard working.. and follow all the morals and ethics without intentionally harming our fellow human being… Any fame or wealth or health achieved at the expense of ones sorrow will not and cannot account for success…Being able to connect to god is blessing but not mandatory…….

  8. Hello Sir Steve…I wish you good health and more success in your career.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.I am enlightened with your article about accomplishment and success.Honestly, I experienced success and failure in my present life.But I was inspired to move on and think positively.

    The past is behind.learn from it.The future is ahead.prepare for it.the present is here live it.

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