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Success in life? What is it? If you're making money doing something you enjoy, are you less successful than someone who happens to make more money? Of course not! Your life isn't a competition against others, to be fought on their terms. Two businessmen can be compared for their success in business, but this doesn't tell us about their entire lives, does it?
If you'll be happier, wealthier, and healthier sometime in the future, does this mean you are a failure now? No! Success in life is about the process, not about lists of accomplishments. A poor but happy person going to school to get a degree, or otherwise bettering his life, is more successful than a miserable rich man who is falling into destructive habits.
Success In Life Is Yours Right Now
Your personal success is in the actions of this moment. This may be a new idea to you, but doesn't it make intuitive sense? If you fail at the specific goals you are currently working on, but the attempt is honest, and you're willing to learn from your mistakes, isn't this personal success?
The idea may be annoying for some. For some, the thought of success being somewhere in the future is just a way to excuse the actions of the moment. They can continue "waiting for their ship to come in," and delay taking the actions they need to take to fulfill themselves. They can keep that future in mind - and always push it a little further forward. If you think like this, you may not like the idea that you can be a success right now, because it reminds you that it is your responsibility.
On the other hand, the idea of success being in this moment can be a very liberating thought. You no longer have to wait for the future. Find your inspiration in the work of the moment, do it honestly and with acceptance of the need to continually correct course and enjoy the journey, and you are successful right now. Of course, there is no guarantee that you won't get lazy or discouraged, but the moment you begin again to work towards your true values, you are living a successful life.
Success Is A Personal Thing
What do you want out of life? To become wealthy? To help others? Have great relationships? Travel the world? Be healthier? All of the above? Success in life is personal and unique. Whatever your best course is in life is (and this is only for you to decide), when you start honestly in that direction, in that exact moment you are succeeding as a human being.
Outward manifestations of success are nice - money, things, and opportunities. You'll have some of these, but you will also fail at many things. We all do, and that's okay. The important question is the moment-to-moment and day-to-day question: will you start again in the right direction? This internal process of courageously choosing the best path again and taking action is what defines success in life.