How does one measure success?

2 June 2010

In light of 2010 being our tenth year in business, I have been thinking ... how do you measure success? Surely keeping a cafe running several years is a success, especially since many new businesses don’t even last a year. I am not sure how success is meant to feel and if you actually know when you have reached it.

In light of 2010 being our tenth year in business, I have been thinking ... how do you measure success? Surely keeping a cafe running several years is a success, especially since many new businesses don’t even last a year. I am not sure how success is meant to feel and if you actually know when you have reached it.

One of life’s great anxieties is to at least appear successful to those around us. Feeling successful can be matched for some to a feeling of status, a place in society where they feel they rightfully belong. This is why it can be such an important thing for people to attain.

But what is more important, how your neighbour measures your success or how you feel about it? And what constitutes success?

Is it owning your own business or bringing up lovely happy children? Is it external - being fit and beautiful? Is it making your husband or wife happy? Is it simply how well you cooked a lasagne last night? Or are these things linked to happiness at all? This I am trying to work out.

It seems easier to view success in others but not necessarily in ourselves. Maybe this is because success is on all types of levels, however we tend to focus only on the extreme and therefore never feel that we are there or can ever achieve it. If we just looked at ourselves and not those around us, maybe we would realise we are already there.

Apparently we all have an image in our minds of how a successful person will look. Many think it is in the appearance of money. Can you really tell a successful person if they are head to toe in Gucci? Or stepping out of their limousine? I know many a rich person who will tell you they do not feel successful at all. Perhaps they have made a lot of money, but have a failed marriage, or don’t know their kids

A wise woman once told me that success is an inner feeling, more like contentment, you cannot buy it and it cannot be achieved solely through having a lot of money or a glamorous job title. It is when, one day you open your eyes and you are happy with what is around you, maybe your friends, your house, your family or your job, or quite simply because you’re still alive and it’s a sunny day.

For me, success is complete happiness but I understand that for every person, happiness comes from different things.