Can success be measured

Can we measure success in quantitative ways? Is there any definition of success in the world? Success does not hold any universal definition. It is our perception about success that causes happiness as well as unhappiness. Nowadays almost everyone measures success only in terms of material aspects. People evaluate success in terms of material objects acquired. They apply it to their life and to others’ lives.

Success in terms of money

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It is a common belief that the amount of money with us is a measure of success. Higher the amount of money, the person is more successful. Lower the amount of money, the person is less successful. But is this general belief true? Rich people may not be happy with their life. On the contrary, poor people may be content with their life. The more the amount of money we get, the more we want. Rich people are always thinking about the money that they have. They worry about how to invest their savings and what to buy with their money. Poor people do not have to worry about these things because they only fulfill their basic needs with money. Money can be a source of happiness and unhappiness. People feel jealous of rich people whom they perceive as successful.

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Success in career

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Nowadays people measure success in any career by grades and percentage secured. But do students getting higher marks really understand the concepts of their studies? This applies to a career starting from school to post-graduation. It can be any field from Humanities to Business Management. Students and teachers consider grades and percentage as a measure of success. Students securing a higher percentage are regarded as successful students. Whereas students getting lower percentages are regarded as unsuccessful students. Nobody thinks about the involvement of these students in extracurricular activities. Successful students would have not involved in other activities but unsuccessful students would have pursued their interests.

The commonly held notion about successful students has even caused them to cheat in exams. Some students cheat in their exams to be successful. They adopt unethical practices and the world considers them to be successful in their career. Those students who are ethical and do not cheat in exams score less marks. But they are regarded to be unsuccessful in their career. Good grades secured unethically can never give success in the long run. They only give happiness for some time and that decreases as time flies.

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Success in profession

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No profession is good or bad. If you love what you do, then you are successful in your profession. Nowadays success in any profession is measured by promotion, award and incentives. It is sad that professionals are judged by their colleagues on the basis of these measures. Nobody thinks about how all the employees work and how much efforts they put.

In some organisations, merit is considered while giving promotions, awards and incentives. But some organisations do not consider merit. They have internal as well as external politics. They reward the undeserving employees but do not appreciate deserving employees. Due to this injustice, deserving professionals feel dejected and frustrated with their career. Other people in society consider these people to be unsuccessful in their career. They do not think about what really happens in the organisations. They are unaware of the dirty politics that happens in some organisations.

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Promotion as a measure of professional success

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Think about the people who are regarded as successful in their profession. Some people take promotion in their jobs only due to societal pressure. They know it very well that a promotion in career will never be easy. But they accept promotion only to maintain their social status. The other measures of success in profession like award and incentives are happily accepted by all. It is because they are a reward for what work they have done in the past. But a promotion is a reward for professionals that will make them work more in the future.

Employees getting promotion in their job may not be happy while employees not getting promotion in their job may be happy. They thought about future responsibilities and not about the judgement of other people. It can also be that the professionals who did not get promoted in their job wanted a work life balance. But the employees getting promoted to higher levels may not get time at all. They may not be having a work life balance. So, it is evident that success in profession does not mean happiness in life. Our profession should pay us for our work. But we can decide about our success in job. It is upon us whether we want to have success as per the perception of society or according to our belief.

Success in friendship –

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In friendship, people consider success as having many friends. But does anyone think whether all friends will be true or fake. Having numerous friends does not really mean success. Instead having few friends who will always stand by you means success. It is because they are your true friends. Another common belief about success in friendship is always being together with many friends. If a person is found alone in places, then others consider that person to be friendless. They do not realize that true friends are never distant. They are always close at heart irrespective of the time they spend with each other. This is success in friendship.

Success as a standard –

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The impression that success has left on people is totally based on material assets. Our society has set a standard for measuring success. They evaluate themselves and other people on the basis of this standard. This standard is so influential that it leads to conflict between people. The standard has been set on the basis of career, profession, marriage and property of an individual. The disadvantage of this standard is that some people disregard others whom they regard as unsuccessful. Those people who have set success as a standard think life to be a grocery list. They just want to accomplish things without bothering about happiness. You can find people with less material assets to be happy. You can also find people with high material assets as depressed.

What people forget is it is more important to be a good person in life. Some people may not be successful as per the standard but you will find them morally sound. On the other hand, you may find successful people to be morally unsound. Achieving success without having morality will never be sustainable.

What success really means –

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Success is neither a variable nor a constant. It is neither dependent nor independent of other factors. You cannot measure success quantitatively but feel it qualitatively. Success is totally based upon our opinion about what we have in life. If we are content and satisfied with our life, then we have achieved success. You do not need to think whether others consider it as success or not. A satisfied life is a successful life because you do not need the judgement of others to be successful. Your determine your success solely by your opinion.

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  1. A nice article, I think you have briefly touched upon various facets of success at various levels in an intuitive manner.

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