What is the nature of success?
Success is a soft term and has many different methods of being measured. A common measure of success in western societies is in the accumulation of goods and currency. Another measure of success is the respect one is given by one’s peers. Booker T. Washington posits that success must also account for the monetary or social position one starts from before comparing it to the position when the measure is taken.
A man born to wealthy parents may seem to be successful when one sees his worldly goods. However, when the observer learns that the aforementioned man has not earned any of the money he has spent, then the man is not seen as successful. He is just lucky. Another man, born of poor parents, may achieve middle class status and be seen as a great success. In these two cases the measure of success is calculated by the multiple of accumulation over the span of one’s life.
Other measures of success are in keeping stability when one’s circumstances are not stable. One may keep a stable emotional state after the death of a loved one. A great success may be when one’s house is undamaged by a hurricane.
What is common to all of this is that success is measured by the opinions of others. Is it possible to be successful when by all external measures one has failed?
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