Measuring Success

Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom. – General George Patton.

I’ve been thinking about challenges lately, overcoming challenges, and what success is. What is a successful person? What is success? That got me wondering about how to measure success. There are a multitude of companies out there who make their success by talking about the measurement of success, and really that is all you can do – talk about it. They purport to motivate, help you define your own meaning of success, and as the presentations are paid for by the company you work for, usually to meet the company’s definition of success.

There are all kinds of tools out there to help you measure, to help you know that yes you are or are not successful. I’m thinking that the only way true way is not by measurement of any sort but by feeling. I’m thinking that success is immeasurable.

We, I, look at someone else and say, “That person is successful.” But when you speak to that person, he or she may not perceive being successful. Is success being satisfied with what you have rather than striving for something you do not have? Are we being deceived for the purpose of gain to believe that we must want, that we should strive?

I have always thought of Demi Moore as successful, someone whose work I admire (although I do acknowledge it is easy to confuse the actor with the character). She would say, I think, she is unsuccessful because her want is unsatisfied. How do we know that? She said, “What scares me is that I’m going to ultimately find out at the end of my life that I’m really not loveable.”

Even if you concede that success is something defined by each person the measurement of success is still feeling and not really measurable at all. Suppose your definition is money. Suppose you have eighty percent of the world’s money but are still not satisfied. It is not the acquisition of money, it is the feeling that it is enough.

Yup I’m thinking success is a feeling and no number of charts, written goals or affirmations can define success.
Feel it. Be it. Don’t measure it by someone else’s yard stick.

20 thoughts on “Measuring Success”

  1. Good article, Chris. Wonder why we forget the humanness of well known and/or wealthy people. It must be very hard on them to have us trying to shove them onto a pedestal.

    I really like Patton’s quote. Wonder what frightened him…

    1. My son knows a lot about Patton and in this very moment wish I had listened more closely to what he said about him so I could share some unknown fact on what frightened him! I think he was an Olympian. Nuts…I will have to ask him for the story again and listen closely this time!

  2. “I’m thinking that success is immeasurable”. I like that. A LOT. Very insightful. Success is a feeling. Very well said indeed!

  3. I confess that I was stunned by Demi Moore’s situation, even though I’m not a follower of the movie actor scene.

    I suppose insecurity is always scratching at the door. Perhaps marrying Ashton what’s his name was a clue…?

  4. Well said Chris, money is not success at all. i think being happy and being content with that happiness is success. knowing when you are lucky is success.. c

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