Is success awarded by the society, claimed by oneself, or won from the society?
- Are you successful if you say you are?
- Are you successful if you are the top performer among other employees or other entrepreneurs?
- Or are you successful if you accomplish something no one ever did before?
I think it is fair to say that everyone has their own way to measure their own success. It is all about perspectives. Some will say they are successful if they can feed their children, or become the top sales person, or become the richest person in the city, or won a noble prize for an invention. There are no right or wrong.
I would love to talk about how the current system has provided us a way to measure it using money. The reality is that every single example I mentioned is whether driven by capitalism, or the fuel of capitalism. It is the single greatest power moving the world forward, although there are flaws within it. I will only share 2 examples for now. The reason I use the two examples below is to make it very clear about the importance and power of money flow for people in general, the employees (97-98% of the people in the world are employees). Of course, things work differently from Example 2 if you are a business owner or an investor, which is the subject of another day.
Example 1: Successful if feed our children, give them education, good life, etc.
At the end of the day, whatever we do to support our children is meant to make our children capable to having a good life with a good income (good business / job / investment). They will then support us financially when we grow old. At least this is how it works in Asia. In order to make that happen, we need to have a good income, means we need to make money whether through a business, job, or investment (other ways would be fraud, embezzlement, etc). In that sense, it is fair to say that the flow of money drives our actions and our children’s actions.
Example 2: Successful if become the top salesperson in the company
At the end of the day, a top salesperson will measure his/her success from what he gets: salary, commission, and recognition. Value is measured by money, sometimes it is measured right, sometimes wrong. Does it matter if you are a top salesperson who made $1,000,000 sales for your employer and received no commission? No way, you know that you provide a huge value and you want something in return, mostly money, because again, you can use the money to feed your children and other things, see Example 1.
Money is the current best measurement tool of success. It is not because money is everything, but it is because everything needs money. Loving without money won’t provide a good education for your children. Without generating a lot of sales for your employer, there would be no huge commission and no good recognition for you.
In the case of businesses and investments would be cash flow, capital gain, dividend, etc. We still prefer to measure success with numbers. 🙂
This would be my answers to the 3 questions at the start of this post:
- Are you successful if you say you are? – No, you are successful if you can accomplish your goals, which most of the time require you to make enough money.
- Are you successful if you are the top performer among other employees or other entrepreneurs? – Yes and No. If you are an employee, you are just awarded if you make money for your employers directly or indirectly. If you are a business owner / an entrepreneur, you are just awarded if you help your customers or clients to add a certain value to their life or business.
- Or are you successful if you accomplish something no one ever did before? – Yes and No. If you accomplish something that adds value to the society, which usually means you add value to their life or business, or even just merely for entertainment purpose, you may be awarded money / profit. Whether you make something useful and sell it, or you do something useful and sell it, or you show something useful and sell it.
How would a man measure success if there is no money as an exchange medium of value in the world? Perception? Common agreement? Money itself is built on trust, perception, and common agreement. 🙂
The root of evil is not money, it is the lack of money. Money is power, it is a powerful tool.
If you have other ideas, reach me: firstname.lastname@example.org