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Defining Success (Also -- Philosocom's Directory for Success-related Articles)

Updated: Apr 19

A millitry man raising his hand in a happy mood.

(The Directory:


Ms. Tamara Moskal's Synopsis

Success is defined by individual satisfaction with one's achievements based on their own unique goals. We can also share our goals with a group and pursue a collective purpose together. People who lack purpose in life miss opportunities for success. Societal norms heavily influence our definition of success. However, success lies in achieving individual dreams regardless of societal expectations. Traditional criteria for success include financial materialism, societal popularity, and sexual relationships.
If your goals don't align with societal standards, you will not consider yourself successful in achieving them, as the ultimate aim of success is the satisfaction of your genuine desire and ambition.
The author chooses to be unsatisfied, to work relentlessly, and intentionally unwilling to reach a resting state of "post-purpose." Uniquely, he identifies his success with his mental survival rather than pleasure. The path to long-lasting success is to focus on what truly brings you joy and fulfillment rather than societal expectations.

The Defining Factor of Success

Success, first and foremost, depends on one's goals. In other words, it's about what someone is trying to achieve, whether or not they achieve it, and if they manage to maintain their grip on it for the long term. Whether someone is considered successful depends entirely on what they set out to accomplish and whether or not these three elements are featured successfully (no pun intended).

Without goals or ambitions, success becomes a meaningless concept. It's not about being rich or famous; it's about the individual's pursuit of their personal aspirations. It's about conquest, but not necessarily in its literal term of occupying land or a populace. Rather, it's about making an accomplishment, yours. Those who lack a sense of purpose and direction in life, such as the "klumnik" archetype, have no goals to strive for, hence no opportunity for success. In essence, success requires a target, a "what" to be achieved; a mission to be fulfilled.

Beyond setting goals and actively working towards them, the concept of success becomes subjective or inter-subjective, AKA, at the hands of societal recognition of what "success" is. Societal expectations and norms often influence how we define and measure success, attributing value to specific achievements.

However, true personal success lies in the accomplishment of one's own ambitions, regardless of their alignment with societal standards. The same logic applies to syndicates, or a collection of people or groups who unite to attain one or more specific, shared purposes. Their overall competency depends mostly if not entirely on the fulfillment of their shared interest/s. If they attain other things throughout their venture, that matters not to what they set their mind for, can we truly say that they are successful objectively?

The pursuit of individual or collective goals and their successful achievement forms the fundamental core success. Anything beyond this becomes a matter of societal perception and may not necessarily reflect the true, intended fulfillment. That's how logic is. It discards everything that is irrelevant to the topic or plan at hand. The "colder" the logic, the more dismissive of irrelevant features it can be.

So, you might want to consider becoming more ruthless in the name of your success, as the ruthless person does not compromise their dreams in order to please other people.

Defining Your Own Path

Of course, there exists these so-called "objective" interpretation of "success," creating the illusion that specific paths and achievements are necessary for "success" to occur, regardless of one's plans. Even accomplishments outside this category, like success in video games, are often deemed irrelevant by many, but would be highly regarded by others. This "objective", or simply orthodox success typically includes:

However, your personal or shared goals don't need to align with those of general society unless you'd like them to. Even if you achieve the societal definition of "success," it holds no true value if those goals aren't truly your own. How can one be considered successful in achieving a non-existent goal, one that lacks personal desire? How can be a very conforming person be considered succesful if you're not interested in conforming but in being more of an outsider, for example? Why shouldn't your desires matter in this?

While you may "succeed" in completing such goals, this success doesn't stem from genuine desire but rather external expectations and norms. What success is there in being enslaved to external expectations and the pursuit of external validation?

Many of us simply adapt to the flow and adopt the goals imposed upon us, without really understanding ourselves authentically. However, unless we truly desire to achieve a goal, we haven't truly succeeded, even if we achieve it. The ultimate aim of success is the satisfaction of our ambitions. Without that, you're ultimately unsuccessful in your own terms, regardless of outward perceptions. For perception is, ultimately, another's choice, and not necessarily your own.

Therefore, true success lies in defining your own goals and pursuing them, until they are finally attained and maintained. While societal norms may offer a framework, it's your own aspirations and genuine desires that ultimately determine your path to success.

Success Without Satisfaction?

How can someone be truly successful if they are not truly satisfied with their own work and achievements? Such success is mere pretense, an attempt to appease others and avoid the discomfort of not conforming to societal expectations. That is, of course, unless you choose to be unsatisfied.

Being unsatisfied is when one can be far more productive, rather than when one is satisfied. The sense that lacks satisfaction, can drive us to achieve more. So, should we choose to be unsatisfied, we can yield more fruit, than when resting on a sense of victory and what I call, "post-purpose".

I personally choose to be unsatisfied, and take it for granted at the same time, so I will achieve even more than what I managed to attain as a philosopher in his 20's. And as long as I have more things to work for in this life, I will surely have a reason to resume living. So, while many identify success with their own satisfaction, I identify my success with the fact that I am still alive. Therefore, my success is quite unique, and depends on the duration of my mental survival, rather than emotions such as being pleased.

The reason for my inclination of my mental survival is not yours to know. And they are not only about me. I remain mysterious.


True success is defined by individual satisfaction with one's achievements, based on their own unique goals. A wealthy businessman or woman who despises their job may be considered "successful" by society, which values wealth accumulation. However, without personal satisfaction, this success remains hollow and meaningless. The other, forced-upon pursuits might as well be distractions from one's realization of their true hopes and dreams.

Ultimately, the purpose of success is individual fulfillment. While wealth, academic degrees and other conquests can be satisfying for many, it's not a universal need for contentment. The key lies in aligning your goals and aspirations with your personal definition of success, not the one dictated by others, without you agreeing with the definition.

Therefore, focus not on conforming to external expectations but on identifying what truly brings you joy and fulfillment. Or with what resonates with you from inside, the most. This is (largely) the path to genuine, long-lasting success.

(Unless you act independently of your own willpower, which is very much possible, like a machine would. However, very few people are capable of doing on an extensive basis).

Mr. Nathan Lasher's Feedback

Success is a relative term. It is only true in one’s own mind as well as it coming from someone else whose own idea of success is what you meet. Don’t get caught up in the superficial opinions of everyone else. Just go out and be you and let people think what they are going to think. As long as you are a success in your own mind then that is all that is important. Self validation is vital.
Your thinking something makes you start acting in a certain way which turns into habits which turns into you actually putting the very thing out there which you wanted to in the first place.

Success is nothing more than the result of action, without action there can be no success. People think other people are successful based upon their actions. If you haven’t done anything then how can you be successful in your eyes or in the eyes of others? Success is relative to the amount of action you take.
Satisfaction is another relative term which has no set way of attaining. So by reasoning, dissatisfaction goes in the opposite direction. It is a cognitive term which only applies to those who take action to have their desires met.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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