What is Success?

Success is measured across various cultures and nationalities with different matrices. Owning a business and sailing in the yacht over the weekend? Getting married and raising a family? staying young & healthy? However, we have few parameters which is universally accepted…

We all know the good life means more than money…but none of us is exactly sure what those other things are or how to get them…We all know love and friends and other stuff are important too…but they’re a heck of a lot more complicated and we can’t just have them delivered to our house by Amazon Prime. Evaluating life by one metric turns out to be a key problem. We can’t use just one yardstick to measure a successful life. I recently read “Barking Up the Wrong Tree” by Eric Barker (No Pun Intended, thats his real surname). Eric’s take on success is very refreshing. Barking Up The Wrong Tree is not black and white, considers the latest research, weighs pros and cons, and then arrives at the golden middle. He’s dedicated to helping you do your best, not push his own definition of success, and you can feel that in his writing. Barking Up The Wrong Tree turns standard success advice on its head by looking at both sides of many common arguments, like confidence, extroversion, or being nice, concluding it’s really other factors that decide if we win, and we control more of them than we think.

People tend to think that those who “make it” in life are the smartest and most talented. But the truth is that success is determined by characteristics that are much more within your control, like hard work, motivation and confidence. Because of this, anyone who wants to can enjoy tremendous success.

So the big question now is, If money isn’t the only measurement of success, what else should we be measuring?

  • Achievement
  • Influence
  • Importance
  • Happiness


To feel like you’re winning you need to consistently accomplish meaningful goals. Start by setting and hitting small but meaningful goals each day. Something which leads to a bigger goals. Something which, when you look back at your life when you are 90, gives you a sense of fulfilment.


To feel like you’re influencing others in a positive way you need to pass on your values and help others find success. If you’re a parent, you might generate a feeling of influence by taking the time to teach and instil your values in your children, who go on to pass their values on to their children.


To feel like you’re needed you need to be there for the people that matter most to you. You want to find a way to be valuable to the people around you so that you will be missed when you’re gone.


To feel like you’re enjoying life you need to find a way to enjoy the day‐to‐day experience of life and be grateful for what you have. Make a habit of stopping during the day and appreciating one small thing that’s going well. Be playful and listen to music during the day to experience happiness without the needing to attain specific results.

“What’s the most important thing to remember when it comes to success? One word: alignment. Success is not the result of any single quality; it’s about alignment between who you are and where you choose to be. The right skill in the right role. A good person surrounded by other good people.” – Eric Barker

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