The ability to measure success properly can have a great impact upon your life. It greatly influences how you perceive yourself. But it can also contribute a sense of accomplishment, purpose and self-efficiency. The problem is that the vast majority measures success incorrectly. Far too long, we as a society have primarily used money, power and status for the measurement of success. These three mainstream indicators of success contribute greatly to an imbalanced perception of success. As a result, they can cause great havoc in our lives. Let’s shed some light on this issue by answering the question, “How do you measure success properly?”
A great number of the mainstream measures of success are centered on money, power and status. No matter if a person measures success by material possessions, professional accomplishments, fame or even Facebook likes, they all boil down to money, power or status. However, centering our measurement of success largely on these factors can become quite problematic. Not only does it result in an imbalanced (and perhaps unfulfilling) pursuit of success. But it will also center our focus on entirely meaningless things. Even worse, it definitely leads to terrible decision-making. Not only on the individual level, but also the decisions we meet collectively.
“The real contest is always between what you’ve done and what you’re capable of doing. You measure yourself against yourself and nobody else.”
The above highlights the importance of developing your own measurement of success. Don’t just blindly adopt the mainstream indicators of success. Develop your own definition of success. And discover for yourself, what success truly means to you. Doing so helps you to avoid wasting precious time and energy by pursuing another person’s idea of success. Ideally, the success indicators you choose are not only centered on money, power and status. These three factors can potentially be the outcome of being successful at what you’re doing. But they should never be the sole motivator for your quest to be successful.
But how does one measure success in a more balanced manner? In the following, I will present a wide variety of central key indicators of success. Some of these measurements include external accomplishments. But for a balanced approach, the measuring of success also depends on meaningful internal metrics. Without these internal factors, true fulfillment, happiness and satisfaction are difficult to obtain.
How Do You Measure Success?
16 Inspiring Ways to Measure Success
1. The positive impact you have on others
The desire to acquire wealth and material possessions motivates a large number of people. Their actions are predominantly centered on the fulfillment of their wishes. To them, it’s not so much about what they do. All that matters is that their actions provide lucrative outcomes. The moral and ethical outcome of their behavior does not matter to them, as long as the intended purpose is attained. And while many have grown rich beyond belief, not all of them make a difference. Not all of them have a positive impact on other people. Even more so, quite a few of these people had to manipulate/exploit others greatly to accomplish their idea of success. In the traditional sense, these people can be considered extremely successful in life. But can a person really be considered successful, if they intentionally make other people’s lives miserable?
In the end, it’s not our wealth that remains of us long time after we’ve gone. Our heritages will be distributed evenly among our families until we’re forgotten. What truly remains of us is the contribution we have made in life. The profound impact we had on other people’s lives. The way we help to make this world a better place. Helping other people and having a positive impact upon their lives is a key characteristic of truly successful individuals.
Measure your success in life not merely by the wealth you accumulate. Measure it by your ability to make a difference.
2. The ability to overcome your circumstances
Wealth, material possessions and power are not adequately suited to measure success. If we were to measure success solely based on these factors, a great variety of inaccuracies would occur. Along the line of these three metrics, only those that have attained wealth, power or fame could be truly considered successful. It’s evident how superficial and imbalanced this kind of success measurement is.
In order to measure a person’s success, we also have to consider their circumstances. The way they grew up and the difficulties they were confronted with in life. It is by far more difficult to succeed in life when you’re confronted with extremely difficult circumstances. Truly successful is the one who is able to overcome all circumstances, no matter how severe. Not the one who was handed down all their accomplishments by various benefactors or their families.
You might not be able to change the specific circumstances of your life. But you surely can adapt your understanding of success to your situation. Step outside the limiting confines of the traditional definition of success. Be flexible and adjust!
3. The accomplishment of your goals
Another important measurement of success lies in your ability to achieve your goals. By measuring your success based upon your personal aims, a better idea of your successes can be developed. Not only will it stop you from making unjust comparisons, but it will also center your estimations on your own circumstances. That’s incredibly important when it comes to the measurement of success.
I was once studying with a girl from Russia. Her grades were average and not at all that great. In the traditional sense, she couldn’t be considered a successful student. However, if one knew that she didn’t speak English one year prior to this, her accomplishments are quite impressive.
By defining significant aims and measuring these with relevant metrics, you can much better evaluate your success.
4. The creation of your own path
It’s relatively easy to walk the established path. There’s nothing you have to worry about. Nothing to be afraid of. All you have to do is to follow where the path leads. But deep down inside, you know that it’s not your path. It’s another person’s path.
The same holds true for the adoption of another person’s idea of success. The attempt of duplicating another person’s successes can cause great pain and misery along the way. That’s because this person’s idea of success might not necessarily be applicable to your life.
Don’t try to measure your success by comparing your accomplishments with those of another person. These kind of comparisons are not only unjust, but almost always create resentment as well. If I were to compare my bank account with the fortunes of Donald Trump or Bill Gates, I definitely use. But so would 99.99% of the population.
For this reason, don’t just blindly chase another person’s accomplishments. Create your own path and measure your impact based on your own aims, dreams and visions.
5. Facing difficulties with courage
True courage is not the result of jumping from one success to another. Similarly, true strength and willpower cannot be obtained by those always living on the bright side of life. True courage and strength only come to light during times of great adversity. It’s when we are challenged the most, that we discover our innermost qualities. And while a great number of superficially successful people are being crushed during these crises, the truly successful remain standing. They might be afraid, but they nonetheless face the difficulties with courage.
For this reason, the measurement of your successes in life also has to include your ability to overcome severe difficulties. Don’t just evaluate success based on your accomplishments. Measure it also by the amount of obstacles you were able to overcome.
“Success is not measured by what a man accomplishes, but by the opposition he has encountered and the courage with which he has maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.”
6. The ability to find contentment
Almost all human beings pursue happiness in one way or the other. Sadly, only a small portion actually finds true contentment during this pursuit. More often than not, we falsely assume that by acquiring things, we will become truly happy. As a result, we desperately try to attain happiness by pursuing evermore. But unbeknownst to most, true contentment and long-lasting happiness cannot result from this path. If we seek to fulfill all of our passions, we only keep feeding insatiable desires. There will never be an end to these desires. Not to mention that the resulting happiness from satisfying these desires runs out short.
Truly successful is the person who can find contentment, peace and happiness in every situation. Numerous individuals who are successful don’t find contentment in their accomplishments. They are always driven to strive for more, without ever truly attaining happiness.
Measure success not only based on what you have accomplished, but also your ability to find contentment in it.
7. Loving what you do
As Albert Schweitzer so brilliantly put it, “If you love what you’re doing, you will be successful.” By doing what you truly love, you will be performing your actions with the greatest passion. It’s that kind of passion that is necessary to attain success in any area of life. Centering your activities on the desire to be successful will never produce the same output. It’s only when you’re passionate about what you’re doing that you can attain the highest levels of success.
Whenever you are measuring your impact/success in life, make sure to estimate to what degree you actually loving that which you do.
8. The creation of something of value
Albert Einstein once said that one should not seek to be a person of success. Instead, he recommended becoming a person of value. It’s quite an important insight that is reflected by the actions of many successful people. There’s one key characteristic about extraordinarily successful individuals. Almost all of them had the vision of creating something of value. In one way or the other, these people sought to provide an added value to this world. Instead of chasing success for riches and fame, they focused on contributing something of value. And it’s the unique value they were able to provide that made them reap the fruits that come with being successful.
So whenever it comes to measuring success, see what kind of value you provide to this world. Sometimes the creation of something valuable is not always connected to acquiring wealth. Some of the values that people provide to this world might not necessarily pay off in a financial matter. But they certainly do have a profound impact upon the lives of many people.
9. The ability to enjoy each moment
When it comes to success, there are two different kinds of people. First, there are those who seek to be successful. And second, those who have already obtained success. The number of people who fit these two categories is quite large. However, it’s fairly safe to assume that only a small part of them is truly able to enjoy each moment. No matter if they are already successful or not. Sadly, those who seek to be successful let the moment go by in order to focus on the pursuit of wealth and happiness. Even more so, those who are already successful are more often than not inclined to reach even greater heights, without truly enjoying each moment.
In line with this arguing, we have to ask ourselves if we really want that. After all, there’s no point to success, if you are unable to take the necessary time to enjoy it. Even further, what’s the point to pursuing success, if the pursuit makes you feel miserable?
10. Being faithful and committed
In our modern day society, those who are exceptionally gifted tricksters or cheaters can become incredibly successful. Unfortunately, in this present day and age, it’s relatively easy to promise much, without ever delivering. Deceit and deception are a regular part of daily life. And this kind of trickery is not only limited to the average man, but also (and especially) to corporate leaders and politicians.
But true success can only be accomplished by those who are faithful. Those who did not have to trick or manipulate their way to success will always accomplish more than any trickster can.
However, there’s much more to faithfulness than just being honest and holding true to our words. With faithfulness also comes the willingness to be committed to the pursuit of a goal. Those who are truly successful carefully decide which goals are worth pursuing, and remain committed to the pursuit until successful.
11. Treating others with dignity and respect
Can those who are willing to stop at nothing to get what they want be considered truly successful? While being determined to succeed is not a bad thing, willingly exploiting others is. Therefore, the measuring of success necessarily has to include a social dimension. To be more precise, the measurement how a person treats other people. There are people in this world who have accomplished the greatest things. Yet, they fail terribly at treating others with respect. No matter if these people think they are better than others because of their heritage, or because of their accomplishments.
True success in life also includes one’s ability to identify oneself in others. Even more so, treating others with dignity and respect is an important part of a successful life. It’s always easier to blame others for their shortcomings than to walk a mile in their shoes.
12. The attainment of mastery
Usually, people spend a certain time doing certain things, until they get bored. We’re no longer willing to practice a certain skill until we have completely perfected it. Instead, we switch from one activity to another, without ever attaining true mastery. We are good at a great number of things, but we do not excel in any of them. Truly successful is the one who has the necessary willpower to be committed to a certain activity until mastery is accomplished.
13. The ability to be grateful for what you have
The power of gratitude is largely underestimated. Not only has shown science over and over again that an attitude of gratitude can have a profound impact upon our well-being. But gratitude also enables us to find joy and contentment in what we already possess. It makes us appreciate more what we’ve already accomplished. So instead of being excessively focused on everything that we want to acquire, gratitude shifts our attention back to the joys of our present lives. And by doing so, it greatly supports us in avoiding discontent. Even more important, if we’re not feeling discontent, we are less likely to engage in the unhealthy habits of modern day living.
Exceptionally successful are especially those, who are able to see good in negative things happening to them.
14. Caring for your family
What greater wonder in the world could there be than to have children? Unfortunately, the important role of parents is becoming more and more disregarded. It’s not only society that neglects the importance of parents, but also parents themselves who neglect their responsibility. True success does not always consist of accomplishments in the professional area. Instead, true success can be found in parent’s ability to equip their children with everything they need to live a happy life. The ones who are willing to place their children before their careers in order to spend more time with them, are the ones who are truly successful.
15. Growing as a person
Most of us are heavily occupied with the pursuit of academic degrees and professional success. So much that we are more often than not neglecting our own progress. But the purpose of life might not always lie in the attainment of a fancy job title. We are here on this planet to learn, to grow and to become better than we were yesterday.
16. Being kind to the weak
If we are only kind to our benefactors and the people we like, we’re not truly kind beings. Instead, we simply use kindness as an investment or payment. We’re kind to those who we benefit from. We’re also kind to the people that we like. But we always limit our acts of kindness to those who can repay it in one way or the other. True kindness, however, is not only shown to those that can repay it. It’s also shown to the weak. Even more so, true kindness also encompasses treating those kindly who will never repay our kindness.
“Success is not measured by what a man accomplishes, but by the opposition he has encountered and the courage with which he has maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.“