If you ask 10 different people to define success, you’ll get 10 different answers. We all have our own definition, and unfortunately – many people equate success with money. The more you have in the bank and the more you earn, the more successful you are — or so they believe.
I’m in no position to tell anyone how to think, but using your income bracket to measure success can be dangerous. If you don’t have much materially, you might look at your situation from a glass-half-empty angle. And if you think money is the definition of success, you’ll fail to realize the true meaning of success. The truth of the matter is you might be more successful than you realize. Here are six reasons why you might already be successful.
1. You appreciate your work
It might not be the most glamorous job, and you may not earn the most money. However, many people struggle to find work. If you have steady employment — and it’s work you don’t hate — you have more than a lot of people. Not that you can’t strive for more or work toward better opportunities, but if you appreciate being employed and you’re happy with where you are at work, you have every reason to feel successful.
2. You’re not a complainer
Life doesn’t always go according to plan. If you can learn to accept this fact and adjust to changing situations, you won’t complain as much as others or beat yourself up. This doesn’t mean you won’t feel discouraged at times. However, successful people realize that life has ups and downs. Rather than whine about their situations, they grow from setbacks and disappointments. This provides the motivation they need to work harder and get where they want to be.
3. You can pay your bills
You might be surprised by the number of people who work hard every day, but have trouble making ends meet — including those who seem to have it all. Various factors contribute to this situation. Some people live way above their means, and because of circumstances others have limited skills and can’t find jobs to adequately provide for their family. If you’re in a situation where you’re able to pay your bills every month without a second thought, you may have more options and fewer financial stresses than someone earning a six-figure income, yet living paycheck-to-paycheck.
4. You have a savings account
Outside your retirement account, how much do you have in a liquid savings account? If you have at least $2,000 in your liquid savings account for a rainy day, you might be richer than most people. A recent survey reveals “approximately 47% of Americans have less than $500 in savings.” Between higher living costs and overspending, it’s difficult to save. If you know the importance of saving money, and you make sacrifices to build your account, you have a reason to feel successful.
5. You have a mind of your own
If you can think for yourself and you don’t let financial peer pressure influence your decisions, consider yourself successful. Too often, people worry too much about other’s opinions. They accept jobs because of the prestige attached to certain positions, and some people make specific purchases just to keep up with their peers and maintain a certain image. If you don’t care about any of this, and you pursue your passions and do what makes you happy, give yourself a round of applause.
6. You can celebrate other people’s successes
A truly successful person doesn’t feel threatened by others. Ask yourself, am I happy when my peers get ahead at work or earn more money? Or am I only happy for my peers as long as they’re not doing better than me? Success is being confident and secure. Can you be sincerely happy for another person and celebrate with them — even when things are going poorly for you?
The ultimate definition of success is happiness and contentment. People with money may have more choices and they might live a more comfortable life, but this doesn’t guarantee happiness.
Photo credit: Steve wilson (Flickr)