The True Definition of Success

Success can be difficult to define, because it can often mean something different to every person.

What one person deems successful, another may perceive as a total failure.  But ask nearly anyone, and they will likely tell you that they want success, or to be more successful.

I’d like to share with you the best and most accurate definition of success ever discussed.

It’s unlikely that you’d find the following definition in any reference material.  The creator of this definition is the late Earl Nightingale.

Success is, “The progressive realization of a worthy ideal.”

Now, I want you to stop and re-read the last sentence slowly.  Let it’s impact sink in for a moment.

Notice how it does not say “The INSTANT realization of a worthy ideal”.

It’s about continuous action in the direction of your goals.

If you break down this perfect definition, you’ll discover something truly amazing.  You will find that you can literally guarantee success for yourself, if you dare to follow its instruction.

“Worthy ideal” means your goals, purpose, or vision.

“Progressive realization” means making plans and taking inspired actions that will move you closer to your goals.

In our society, it’s common for us to equate money or fame with success.  Most people think that if they make a lot of money, they’ll be successful.  But the truth is, you must first be successful, and then money will follow.

You see, by progressively realizing a worthy ideal, you are by definition, a success.

When you are deliberately pursuing a goal that you determined to be important to you, you are a success.

The majority of people fail to set goals for themselves, and then wonder why things aren’t working out for them.  They often opt for the path of conformity, versus setting their sights on what they want and taking the necessary actions toward obtaining what they desire.

In Earl Nightingale’s classic lesson “The Strangest Secret”, he tells a story that describes the importance of goals…

“Now think of a ship, leaving a harbor, and think of it with the complete voyage mapped out and planned.  The captain and its crew know exactly where its going, and how long it will take…it has a definite goal.  Nine-thousand-nine-hundred-ninety-nine times out of ten thousand it will get to where it started out to get.

Now, let’s take another ship, just like the first, only let’s not put a crew on it, or a captain at the helm.  Let’s give it no aiming point, no goal, no destination.  We just start the engines and let it go… I think you’ll agree with me, that if it gets out of the harbor at all, it will either sink, or wind up on some deserted beach, a derelict.  It can’t go anyplace, because it has no destination and no guidance.  It’s the same with a human being…”

If you desire to be more successful, decide for yourself what you truly want, commit your goal to paper, and then begin working on a plan for it’s attainment.

For more information on achieving your goals, please check out the Resource page.