Perception of Success


Some want the fame, others want the money.

But, everyone wants to be successful.

However, what is success exactly and how do you know when you’ve reached such a stage?

In the digital age we currently find ourselves in, we are bombarded with “success stories” on social media nearly everyday. The famed “rags to riches” is usually the story blueprint. it’s human nature to look on and be somewhat envious, not of the person, but of the success they portray.

But is the idea of success the same for everyone? I have come to realise that… no, it isn’t. And rightly so, because we are all different. So understandably we will have our own personal perceptions. Everyone has their own perception of success and what it looks like.

The majority of society seem to have associated success with fame and vast wealth. I too, bar the fame, deem being vastly wealthy as being successful. Although fame is usually included, it’s not a deciding factor in my opinion. But back to the subject of success being a perception, according to the Oxford Dictionary, success is:

“the fact that you have achieved something that you want and have been trying to do or get

Oxford Dictionary

This definition only confirms my argument of success being a perception.

Using the music industry as an example, because I love music. We have seen many boy and girl bands over the years: SWV, TLC, Destiny’s Child, Blackstreet, Boyz II Men, 112 and many more. When the majority of these groups disbanded, it was seldom on good terms regardless if they said it was or not. 1 or 2 members went on to pursue solo careers, some succeeded. Others did not.

A usual response to the media when questioned was: “we just wanted different things“.

What does that mean?! is what I would think, but now I feel like I understand what was being said. And the “perception of success” comes into play here. Again, success is the completion of something you have set out to do or acquire. On average a standard boy/girl group has 3-6 members. The chances of them all wanting the same thing are pretty slim.

This is the same outside of the music industry too.

Someone could set out to own their own corner shop store and another sets out to become a multi-millionaire . If and/or when they achieve this. Is one more successful than the other? According to the definition, they are as successful as one another. And I agree.

Many will disagree with me because, we all have the same/similar goals nowadays. Even though they aren’t organic goals. Goals that we have been programmed to have, money, status and power. That seems to be the ONLY form of success. If that has always been your dream, then by all means keep on driving towards that. (I know I am). But for the people that don’t necessarily want to be famous or in a position of leadership. Shouldn’t be made to feel that they aren’t successful.

Don’t you want to be successful“?

Hell, some people are still unsure about what their goals actually are. What they truly want to do, their calling. They are simply going where life takes them. Undergoing the standard route of education and then coming out to a 9-5.

Many have passed without knowing their calling, conforming because it’s the safe thing to do. I still have similar uncertainty in my heart from time to time. I know what I enjoy but have I found something I truly love unconditionally?

I don’t believe that any individual has smaller dreams than the next man. However, some have the tools to pursue dreams that others simply do not. Tools such as: perseverance, confidence, diligence and most importantly belief.

Is what you’re doing REALLY what you want to do”?

This is a question I’m always asking myself, it’s not so much me second-guessing myself. But wanting to see if I still have enough passion as I did the previous day I asked myself.

The late Earl Nightingale, American radio speaker and author mentions success being a perception (amongst other things) in “The Strangest Secret” the video is 30 minutes or so long but I’d definitely recommend that you give it a listen.

So, in conclusion, don’t bother about the success you see on social media, there is no set path to success. Neither is there only one perception of it, as long as you achieve the goals you set out for yourself…

Count yourself successful

Earl Nightingale – The Strangest Secret

– Dez

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