What Is Success? Really… What does it mean to you?

According to Mr. Dictionary, Success is:

The accomplishment of an aim or purpose.

Interestingly, there’s no mention of a definitive level of money, no mention of having a nice car, a big home or even what fancy school you went to…

So we thought we’d ask several very successful (in the eyes of the world) human beings about what success meant to them. Their answers may surprise you.

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Tom Bilyeu
tom bilyeu what is success

It’s far easier to tell you what success isn’t than to tell you what success is.

And the truth is success isn’t money, success isn’t fame, success isn’t building a big business,
or becoming number one at anything.

Success ultimately is brain chemistry.

Success is: ‘How do I feel about myself when no one else is around, when the only thing I haveis the quiet voice in my head. How do I feel about myself then?

If you feel good about who you are, if you feel great about who you’re becoming, if you have a deep sense of fulfilment… That to me is success.

If you have all the outward success in the world: you have the money, you have the fame, you have everything going for you, people telling you that you’re number one… But if you don’t feel that way about yourself,you actually have nothing.

So at the end of the day it comes down to what is it that you value in yourself. And I’ll tell you right now what you should value in yourself.

As the human animal, the greatest thing that we have is we’re the greatest adaptation machine that ever existed.

You have potential, but it’s latent potential and if you want to do something with that potential, then you’ve got the opportunity for greatness, then you have the opportunity to be able to look at yourself in those quiet moments and say: I’ve succeeded. But having potential and doing something with it is very different. And very few people understand and have the willingness to grind, to suffer for what they want.

And as a very wise man once said: “Find something you would die for and live for it.”

When you find that, as Viktor Frankl wrote in his book ‘Man’s search for meaning’:

Once you know your WHY, you can survive almost any HOW

So what is it that you believe in so much you’re prepared to become the greatest in the world, you’re prepared to acquire those skills, you’re prepared to see how far you can push your human animal to become truly great. To actually actuate the potential that you have due to relentless acquisition of skills.

If you do that then you have what the ancient greeks called ‘Techne’.  You get so good at something that is so uniquely you, and it serves other people. When you have that, a skill set that you’re proud of that’s actually helping humanity, and you have purpose and meaning that’s gonna give you fulfilment. And that my friends, I promise, is success.

Lewis Howes
what is success lewis howes

1. Success is being at peace inside of yourself.
This is priceless. Learning to love and be kind to yourself is the foundation of any true and lasting success in relationships, business, and life. Give yourself permission to be imperfect.

2. Providing for yourself and your family.
If you are dependent on others for your basic needs it’s hard to feel like you’re contributing to the world. This looks different for everyone but find out what you can do to provide for yourself and your family and always give your best.

3. Creating abundance for others.
Each one of us has a gift that we were born with, that we can contribute to this world. Success is adding value to the world through your unique gifts. Be generous with them.

4. Chasing and achieving your dreams.
We are given the ability to dream for a reason. We are meant to stretch ourselves, take on challenges and grow in the process of overcoming them

5. Being in service to others.
If what you are creating is only serving yourself, it will be so empty and unfulfilling. True success means you are supporting others in their journey. Devote yourself to serving others and see how fulfilled you will become.

6. Leaving a legacy

Success means you left behind a legacy that outlives you. It can be known around the world or just within the small group of people who knew you best.Make sure your legacy reflects the best parts of you and what you gave to the world.

Alexi Panos
what is success alexi panos

What is success? What is success to you? Really think about what success is to you. Not your parents’ version of success. Not your cousins’ version of success. Not Instagram’s version of success, but your definition of success.

Because the problem is that most people are out there living their life based of somebody else’s definition of what success is, what looks like, what it feels like… But yet, you’ve got this thing within you. You came here for a very specific reason. You came here with a certain pattern on your heart, a certain signature on your soul and your job is to get that signature out in the world. And yes, sometimes it’s not going to look like what success looks like to your parents or to society.

Sometimes success can look completely different than the paradigm that has been painted for us.

So really let that land. What is success to you? What burns in your soul? What feels good in your heart?

Because the bottom line is a lot of us are defining success based on what we can get. We’re defining success based on how many dollars are in our bank account, based on how many followers are on our social accounts, based on this external thing that’s supposed to validate our soul.

But guess what happens? You get to that thing,you get the money, you get the accolades, you get all the notoriety and then you still want more.

So is that really success? Is that really success if you feel like you still need more, like you’re still not fulfilled like there still isn’t enough. Or is that desire? And listen desiring any of those things is not right or wrong or good or bad, but that could be an outcome of living a truly successful life. Money can be an outcome of saying yes to your deep reason for being here. Notoriety and power can be an outcome of you just simply living and owning your gifts.

So yes, we are here to do. We are here to create. We are here to make waves with what we are here to do.

It’s not in the doing that makes us successful.
It’s in who we become in the process of our doing that makes us successful.
That is success.
Who become in the process of our doing.

So if you can really land that now if you can really get that now in your heart and have your soul move from that space of who am I becoming in the process of this or that goal then you can really actually land in what success feels like.

Preston Smiles
preston smiles what is success

Success to me is knowing that it’s not the happy people that are grateful, it’s the grateful people that are happy.

Knowing that the key to living is giving, any day that I am in service, any day that I am above the ground is a successful day. Any day that I have a mission on my heart to truly give is a day that I am successful.

Success to me is knowing that I have friends and family that truly get that I care and that care for me.

Success is having hope for the future. Success is having my health, having my vitality, having the energy to show up to my dreams. Success to me is any day that I wake up with a roof over my head, food in my refrigerator and clothes on my back.

Success to me is knowing that I can love and let love. Success is knowing that I am in process, that I am forever unfolding like the lotus flower.

Success is knowing that anytime I feel down, that I can go to my friends, that I can go to my family, that I can go to my wife, and they will truly see me and lift me back up. To me this is true success.

Yes, the money, yes, the travel, yes, all of those things are very important and they’re fun and they’re amazing but success truly is any day that I wake up because I am an purpose with a purpose.

So being able to harness that life force energy and move throughout the world with that passion on my heart, is a successful day.

Joel Brown
joel brown what is success

The reason why most entrepreneurs are coming up short or feeling unfulfilled, is the fact that they are chasing unicorns a.k.a. somebody else’s definition of success.

Now, the way to really define your success is to get clear on your vision. If you can get clear on your vision what you discover in this process of mapping out step by step how you’re going to get there, how you’re gonna feel, what’s it gonna look like, what elements you are going to introduce into your lifestyle, you are going to discover that your strategy for life and to reach that vision is going to be very different to everybody else’s.

I am not Lewis Howes, I am not Preston Smiles, I’m not Alexi Panos or Tom Bilyeu… I am Joel Brown. And the day that I discovered who I am was the day that the world parted, and trees bent, and things moved out of the way because my certainty increased. And I just knew what I needed to achieve and what I needed to go for to be able to achieve what was my definition of success.

My definition of success is to live in your potential as often as possible each and every day.

But you can’t achieve that if you don’t have the discipline to do it. So your discipline is absolutely the key when it comes to the operation or the action of you pursuing your dreams.

Now you can not define your own success if you are looking at somebody else, if you’re putting people on pedestals. Because when you put people on pedestals you are submitting to the idea that that person has greatness within them that you do not have within you. Look at other people on a level playing field and find the greatness that lies within them and see where’s that greatness that lies within you.

How can you be the individual that you know you were brought into this world to be, so that you can serve so that you can be a person of value, so that you can be an inspirational leader in your space, in the arena that was given to you
when you stepped into existence from non-existence to existence. I mean think about how marvellous is the human body. How incredible is the human brain. This is the gift that has been given from up above for us. So why not make the most of it and be as unique as the thumbprint which we are and really step into and own the Different that you are. It’s easier to be different than it is to be better. Why we train to be better than everybody else when we have just so much to give already?

So define success for you and cast your vision. Live in your vision and let your vision discipline you to your dreams, your desire, and to your purpose.

Freddy Fri
what is success freddy fri

What is success? Success is being in a mental state of peace with your own existence.Feeling a sense of pride and satisfaction as it relates to your own personal journey your own walk with life.

Success is defined by the individual. And that means what I may view as success may not be successful at all in the eyes of another person. Which is ok. So that being said,
success for me is not fame, or material wealth, it’s the knowing that I make a concerted effort each and every day to become a better man. It’s the knowing that I am perfectly imperfect and I will make mistakes, but I will give every ounce of my being to learn and grow from it.

It’s the knowing that I add value to others with no expectations in return. I take care of my wife and family and treat them with honor and respect.

And finally it’s knowing that it an sleep like a baby each and every night. Because when it’s all said and done, I’m not only leaving a lasting, positive legacy I am also leaving this world a little bit better than I found it.


Chris Ross
what is success chris ross

Success for me is when my drive reaches my destination. And it may be different for everyone, but I know when I go after something and I reach it.And success can happen over and over, because there’s different things in different areas of your life where you want to reach or hit a certain mark. And that’s why I say for me it’s when I hit the mark, and I know I put in all the hard work and all the effort I’ve put into it and I get to that moment where my promise meets my drive.

People may see success in different ways, but you’re successful if you did all that you could do. Every try, you tried your best. That’s success to me.

William Hollis
what is success william

What is success? Success is something that you obtain on your own it’s something that you go into a dark place not knowing the outcome, but you BELIEVE that you have everything you need inside of you to get it done.

Success is a choice.

Success is a mind frame that you put yourself in when you wanna save your family, you wanna take care of your loved ones.

Vishen Lakhiani

Vishen Lakhiani what is success Mindvalley
I think in this modern world, we are trained to believe that success comes from a handful of different things: You title, your bank balance, your salary. I don’t think that’s true at all. I think success has to be looked at multidimensionally. Here at MindValley we use a model called LifeBook, where we look at 12 different aspects of life, from the emotional states you consistently experience, to your character, to your relationships, your health, your relationships with your children, your friendships, the environments you get to experience, as well as the regular ones: Finance, career and so on.

And when you look at all of these dimensions together, and craft really beautiful visions in these dimensions, you start to moving towards truly being successful. Because you don’t end up as that entrepreneur that is crushing it and making a lot of money, but whose relationships are suffering and whose health is going down the drain. You don’t end up as that guy who is really fit and has his health in control but who is completely broke.

Success must be viewed from all dimensions.

And when you can craft beautiful visions you start moving towards TRUY experiencing success.

A huge thank you to all our speakers who contributed to this powerful message:

Tom Bilyeu – Co-founder of billion dollar brand Quest Nutrition, Founder and Host of Impact Theory
Lewis Howes – Best Selling Author, Entrepreneur and Host of The School of Greatness
Alexi Panos – Author, Entrepreneur, Speaker and Coach
Preston Smiles – Author, Entrepreneur, Speaker and Coach
Joel Brown – Founder of Addicted2Success.com, Entrepreneur, and Speaker
Freddy Fri – Motivational Speaker
Chris Ross – Motivational Speaker
William Hollis – Motivational Speaker
Vishen Lakhiani – Founder of MindValley, Best selling author and speaker.

2 Responses

  1. Brian

    Success is the progressive realization of a worthy predetermined ideal. Earl Nightingale

  2. Female Entrepreneur

    Nice post. It’d be great if you featured more successful women. Your site is great but features too many men, in my opinion.


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