Quantifying success isn’t always just about dollars. Sometimes it’s about how you feel about the dollars you make. If you work in a corporate environment in a cubicle but what you really want is to work outdoors (even though you will make three times the money in the cubicle), how you define success has so much more to do with other things than money.

Money

Many people are very straightforward that money means success. Earning six figures a year defines success to them. However, did you know that both rich people and poor people still suffer the same types of problems with happiness? Rich people aren’t happier than poor people, although they do have fewer basics to worry about. Poor people tend to find happiness wherever they are even without money, even though they have a lot to worry about in terms of meeting basic needs.

Things

Some people count their success in terms of the things they own and can buy. This is tied up with money in a way, but these are the people who spend their money. They buy cars, houses and expensive jewelry, and they need to keep earning more money to keep it up in order to be happy. People who define success by things aren’t typically as happy as people who define success in other terms.

Family

For many people, family is everything. It’s largely cultural in that some types of people want large, loud and boisterous family times. The people who define family as success are often happy even if they don’t have as much money as they thought they needed, and things don’t mean much to them either.

Relationships

Some people count success by how deep and close their relationships are. Often these types of people have fewer friends because it takes them a lot of time to devote to those friendships due to the importance they place on them.

Friends

Some people love having a large number of friends and connections, and to them that means success. They feel good having a large circle of influence and love being one of the top influencers of them all.

Vacations

Some people love to spend their time and money on experiences, and this makes them feel successful. They like to travel to exotic places, and do interesting things and eat new foods. If this is how you define success, you’re likely very adventurous and a risk taker.

Ability to Give

Yet others define success by their ability to give of themselves to others. Even if they don’t have a lot of money, they like taking time away from earning money to volunteer for causes they hold dear. If they need to earn money they value being able to give some of it away, and this makes them feel successful.

Hope

Many people define success simply as the ability to hope and plan for a better future. Starting a new business is exciting and exemplifies hope for them. Yet others prefer the stability of a normal job as a way to keep hope alive. There is no right or wrong answer.

Defining success can be very personal. You may feel successful even if you make no money. You may only feel successful when someone shows you the money. There is no right or wrong way to do it. It boils down to what’s right for you.

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