QOTD1 - 3/10/2014: "What is success? What does it mean to be accomplished/successful? When you look at someone and think, 'man, they sure look successful,' why do you think that? Can you measure success?"
'To me, success is anything in the form of an accomplishment that you've worked hard to attain and are proud of. It could be finishing home improvement projects, finally finding the right job, or starting / raising your own family. I think success can be measured in happiness. If you're happy, you're successful... right?' - H. Z.
'I think it depends on your personal view of success For one who is an entrepreneur, they may look at anyone from Donald Trump to a local small business owner as being 'successful.' For others, they may see it when they observe someone raising a family. Personally, I tend to attribute 'success' to goals set and reached. That's probably the most generic (maybe still incorrect) way to put it. Lol. Also, I do also participate in the knee-jerk reaction of seeing someone with nice things/lots of money and assume they are successful. A lot of times, it couldn't be further from the truth, but I think it's the perception a lot of us tend to have.' -A. L.
Myself, I agree with the authors above. I had a few PMs that would like to remain anonymous, but two of them in particular listed almost a response to A. L., "Why DO we knee-jerk at someone who spends a lot of cash and call them successful?"
One person said, "Perhaps it is because everyone craves money. We don't think we do, but we do. If you want to be in a successful band? You need money to get it started, and then you're chasing it ever since. If you want to start a business? You need money. If you want to become an actress or actor? You need money, you make money, and then you want more of it because it defines your worth. Parents want money - it allows them to spend some extra cash on their children and save some for themselves. Bottom line is, money makes the world go around, and thus, if we see someone spending it like it's pocket change to them, we automatically think, "Damn, they are so successful they can walk out of Victoria's Secret with five bras like they were shopping at Ross Dress-for-Less." We either get jealous, or curious. We want to know their secret. We want to have that money. Why? Because it's a measurement of success."
The other person, "Everyone has had a dream, and if you haven't, you may not have discovered it yet. I want to have enough financial security that I will never have to eat sandwiches for every meal. In my childhood, that's all we could afford. I don't fault my parents at all. They were doing what they could, but medical bills are difficult and cancer isn't a 'one-night-stay-and-go-home-next-day.' I lost one of my parents to it, and that was hard enough, but to see my other parent go through every bill in their wake and try to feed me and my little brother.. Well. Things got tough. I would love to be financially stable enough to have variety in my diet, and maybe even to help my dad out of debt. I think seeing him without the debt would make both of us successful. We have been climbing this hill for so long."
Thank you everyone for your answers. I really appreciate the responses, and I hope we continue to get more and more.