Define Your Success

Let's start with this: Everybody wants something. At any given time of the day, if you think to yourself, "What do I want now?", you would probably have an answer. Most people can identify success. Success is defined by everybody in their own way. We take a look an object or observe a situation, we can come to a conclusion of whether the object or situation represents success. So success is an opinion rather than something absolute. We can identify it even better the more we desire success. A majority of us can agree to what success is and that forms a social norm. Something everybody can agree on that is good becomes something that is desirable by all.
However, as we agree with others, we tend to discredit readily other forms or opinions of what success is. We may also tend to discard our own personal ideas of success and replace them with what most people agree what success is. The agreement or argument can harden over time.We would find justifications as to why the commonly accepted view of success is best. We become more inflexible. Eventually, there is an acceptance that the way it is right now, is good enough. This over time would make the definition of success grow narrower and narrower. This would hinder solving problems. When success is narrowly defined, the options and means to achieve success and solve the problem also narrows.
But what if you disagree? What if success as defined by the majority is too limiting. What if you can see another way of defining success? You could have a solution that involves expanding the definition of success or requires an unconventional way of achieving success. Is your opinion worth any less than the majority?

The tendency of many in this position is to follow the majority. People feel safer if they do not "rock the boat". The reality of this is actually strange. In society, the people who stand out are those that break away from the common definition of success or of what is good enough. People whom we admire today were at one time considered different or even as outsiders. The visionaries of today were once condemned as heretics in the past. Look the history of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak as they tried to set up Apple Computers. Look at Steve Jobs now. He has help redefined our world today. Look at Steve Wozniak. He helped redefined what geeks are capable of (and I am referring to Dancing with the Stars).
Redefining success does not mean lowering the bar. In fact, if you find yourself lowering the bar, you've done it wrong. When you redefine success, there are two general steps. First is to generalize the goal. You probably have or working on some specific goal. the point is to generalize the goal. Second from the general goal, redefine the specifics. Based on the definition from the first step, find a specific target or activity that achieves the general goal. A classic example is this: Let's say you are trying to get rich. You work hard and take up long nights trying to earn the extra income you desire. But you are troubled and unhappy. Let's first generalize: Why are you working so hard for more money? Because you thought more money would make you happy. So the real goal is happiness. So based on the goal of being happy, what could you do differently to be happy. Look at what makes you happy or what did you do in the past that made you happy. Why not try more of those. If the walks in the park with your kids made you happy, perhaps you should make more free time for it. Maybe once you found more time with your family, it will make you happy enough to work even harder. The inspiration that you could find in what makes you happy can drive you even further that just striving to achieve happiness itself.