TED Conversations

Ajay Patel

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What is Success?

This is a very vague question but there can be multiple answers from many different viewpoints.

Is success when you accumulate enough money and have enough money to support yourself? Is success when you accumulate enough money and have enough money to support yourself and a family? Is success when you have goals and achieve them? Is success just having goals?

There are many different viewpoints on success and I am just curious on what everybody has to say and offer.

  • Mar 31 2013: No one can define success correctly general, because its subjective. Every people have their own needs and character. but I think success is a condition, when we are not asking "am i succeed?", that meas we really enjoy and happy with our life :)
    • Mar 31 2013: Yuh huh.
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      • Mar 31 2013: well.. like I said, its subjective hahahaha..
        life happily, everyone have their own book
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    Mar 30 2013: Success in this life is to make adequate preparation for the next.

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    Mar 31 2013: As Jonathan Winters said - I couldn't wait for success - so I went ahead without it.

    I say, Labeling is futile, Being is everything.
  • Mar 30 2013: Success means:no matter what difficulties I meet in my life I can keep myself in peace and be brave,be positive to face them.
  • Mar 30 2013: Success is very simple,the moment you feel content,you succeed.
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    Apr 1 2013: Success is a process starting with contemplation and ending with realization. In between there is work. I contemplate the shaggy look of my hair and realize it needs to improve. I evaluate my options and decide to pay a barber to cut my hair. I get the needed cash and transport myself to the barber shop. The barber cuts my hair and it no longer looks shaggy. Success!
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    Apr 1 2013: Success to me means the discovery of purpose, the pursuit of purpose, and a life of purpose.
    The bible says "Godliness with contentment is great gain"
    Success is about getting our priorities right. If love (God is love) is first, then all other things will fall into their proper places.
  • Mar 31 2013: the one that gives a happiness is a success
  • Mar 31 2013: Execution resulting in Desired outcome.
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    Mar 31 2013: To live a life with no or least regret.
    • Mar 31 2013: Or resistance.......
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        Mar 31 2013: I sure do Don. The ultimate truth is I will be requiring 3 and half hand length on ground or less. That's a nice red cardigan you are wearing.
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    Mar 30 2013: Its the state of an outcome where things turn out the way they are intended to.
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        Mar 31 2013: Hi Don,
        The fact that success can be defined in many ways disproves your claim. From what I observed on your other posts, it seems you are defining success as an overall outcome for one's life. However, success can be outcome of any action. i.e. even when you read this, you are experiencing a success in communication. If you think success has to be defined only one way and no other, then you will be committing a fallacy of black and white thinking.
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        Mar 31 2013: Hi Don, I believe we are looking at this from different frames of reference, thus is the misunderstanding. It's been a pleasure to know what different minds think on this subject.
        Thanks for the replies,
    • Mar 31 2013: Agreed
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    Mar 30 2013: Success is achieving a goal.
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        Mar 31 2013: Not necessarily.
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          Mar 31 2013: Pat, The age old argument is, if I seek to become the best lawyer in town and am finally recognized as such ... but have become a drunk, my wife divorced me, and my kids hate me ... am I a success because I achieved the goal of being the best lawyer in town?
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        Mar 31 2013: I hear you Bob.

        But does that diminish the need for goals and purpose?

        The individual will want to have goals across all of life including towards God. Yes I believe in God but I am not a Christian.

        The most successful people financially typically do not have the goal of making a lot of money. Instead they understand the purpose of the business is to aid in the survival of the customer and do so by giving the customer more than they paid for. So in this most extreme situation where people often think that it is a case of zero sum game, it is not.

        All goals should be towards greater survival for the greatest number. It is true that a large percentage of people push for the opposite and become interested in gain for self at the expense of others but this does not lead to long term survival for even themselves.
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        Mar 31 2013: Thanks Don, me and the rest of the heathens will try and get by.
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        Apr 1 2013: Happy Easter
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    Apr 3 2013: success is reaching the end of the road , true success is continuing going through that road .
  • Apr 1 2013: To me, success is achievement of my dreams.
  • Mar 31 2013: Dictionary. Com
    1. the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or
    endeavors; the accomplishment of one's goals.
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    Mar 30 2013: I think there might be a prequel to the question what is success. I think an important subject before you talk about success is to see if your goals are reasonable. If your goals are reasonable, then success is achieving them.
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    Mar 30 2013: Do you raise this question because you feel an internal conflict in this area? Or do you see the goals and way of life that are meaningful to you to be in conflict with expectations others important to you have for you?

    I ask this because of your self-description in your profile as "lost on the path of life."

    You may be interested in Martin Seligman's TED talk about happiness and positive psychology. He presents research as to the main factors in contentment.
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      Mar 31 2013: My bio was just a random quote and had nothing to do with what I actually felt but that talk was very helpful in understanding the psychology of happiness.
  • Mar 30 2013: This is an un-ending topic