How do you determine success?

Success, as a topic, has come up a few times in our Wednesday night men's group lately.  It is no secret that our culture is a success-oriented culture, meaning, it is a core value.  Our culture does not have a clear definition of success, but we all know the primary signs:  wealth and prestige. 

 

One can acquire wealth without gaining prestige.  For instance, the "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli earned great wealth but did so in such a manner as to gain notoriety, not prestige.  The opposite is also true, one can become prestigious without acquiring wealth.  We may think of various artists or writers.  Regardless, we rarely think of success without at least one of these elements present. 

 

In part, this is because of compartmentalization.  We think of success in terms of the "work life" but we do not often think of success in other areas and so we remain limited in the categories at our disposal to define it (in this case only two, wealth and prestige). 

 

What would it mean for the "work life" to represent only one piece of our view of success (rather than the totality)?

 

What would it mean to be a successful person?

 

This is what we're going to talk about for a few days.   I'm going to start with a little theory- my attempt to wrestle with, and try to make sense of, this difficult topic (nine days to be exact- hang with me- the practical side is always better if I'm allowed a little time to play in the mud first). Then, we'll talk practical specifics.