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What is Success? (4mojo.wordpress.com)
18 points by nickler on Oct 15, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 17 comments

Unfortunately according to my American friends' colloquial definition of "success" it is simply $$$.

Yup money. "She became very successful" = "She made lots of money". Sometimes I am a jackass and ask stupid questions, "well what if she is unhappy, is she still successful?". And people look at me like I am from Mars ;-)

Do you agree or disagree with them? Is "well what if she is unhappy, is she still successful?" really a stupid question?

I just kind of struck me as strange. I grew up with it meaning something like "lucky", "fortunate", could be things like kid is doing well in school, found the person of their dreams to marry, it wasn't a direct euphemism for got a pile of money. But now it kind of is.

Do I personally agree or disagree? Well don't certainly use the word that way, and unless I am felling snarky I won't bother dissecting its meaning or messing with it.

What I found most interesting about this was the the concept of success changed over time. Success seems to be deeply personal and is perhaps a reflection of a deeply personal fear.

In our society the fear of not having enough money seems to be very prevalent thus often success is tied directly to the concept of having enough money because it is a fear a lot of people share.

In this light perhaps the path to success is just a way of working through our fears.

The interesting question then becomes what does success look like to the person who no longer has any fears. Perhaps then success is motivated by compassion?

True wealth is confidence..

Quote from George Foreman about longshoremen:

Mr. Foreman, who stared down financial collapse as an adult despite a troubled, impoverished childhood, said he knew real wealth when he saw it. “If you’re confident, you’re wealthy,” he says. “I’ve seen guys who work on a ship channel and they get to a certain point and they’re confident. You can look in their faces, they’re longshoremen, and they have this confidence about them...I’ve seen a lot of guys with millions and they don’t have any confidence,” he says. “So they’re not wealthy.”

On skim, I do not see any hard definition of the "outstanding success" you envisioned for Nickler. If you never defined it, you cannot achieve it or know if you have. What gets measured gets done but, also, you need a measurable goal to know when you are done.

So I think what you had in your van were easily achieved and easily measured or recognized goals. Things get harder to see when the goal is larger and seems nebulous. You need to make it tangible somehow.

Best of luck.

Well put. Over the last few months we've come to a conclusion that we'll measure the product's success through the ability to earn a customer referral (stolen from Ecquire's Paul DeJoe). Prviously, it's been 'get fucking launched', and 'build a UI that doesn't make me want to punch my screen'.

Baby steps...

Well, it does not sound like a very big picture goal, unless you are leaving something out. Without a big picture goal, "outstanding" success seems very unlikely.

Take care.

One thing that helps me when I'm doing hard things is to keep in mind that the difficulty I'm experiencing is one of the things keeping everyone else out.

Success is not about finding what you think you want to have but realizing of how much you already have.

I reckon it's probably happiness.

Thus, if it's happiness, success has no root at all in the objective reality, but is completely subjective... What is quite a hard thing to say, but sounds completely logical.

And yeah, I'm removing the subject's brain from my definition of "objective reality". If I don't do that, "subjective" would be meaningless.

Why can't it be subjective?

It probably is for individuals. Some measure success with lots of money, whilst others measure it with possessions (boats, cars, house etc).

For example as long as I can have support my wife and kids without them going hungry I believe I'm successful in what I do.

It totally is. What I probably didn't make clear is that our long term approach with Nickler had me doubting what success looked like, the path, and how we defined it. I had to stop making it a tangible thing to keep from going insane.

I think I probably blast this shit out to help manage the voices, and talk my way through it, thanks for reading!

Tell me what an idiot I am on Hacker News

You brag too much in that post and come off as somewhat douchey, but reflective and intelligent. Also, you're one of the better writers that I've read (and I've written professionally) and that's not an easy skill for most to master, so kudos on that.

Also, it looks like Nickler is solving a real (and unsexy) problem. So, respect.

Thank you, the douchey isn't intended, but it's helpful feedback on a writing style I'm trying to pin down.

Thanks for the honesty and 'chin up', it's appreciated.

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