According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, success can be defined as the ‘achieving of results wanted and hoped for’. This definition suggests to me that success is both a ubiquitous feeling at the point of achievement that can be attained by all, as well as a sensation that is defined by unique sets of circumstances. Essentially, success is subjective and how each person measures it should be different.
This does not mean, however, that there cannot be a figurative bar set where an excess of that could be defined loosely as “success”. Success has to fit into man-made formats and so processing it through said formats can make it easier to identify. This is why all businesses from multinational conglomerates to month-old start-ups set targets for their employees, to make the maintenance and growth of the company unmistakably recognisable and easily understandable. Success is essentially quotas and targets being met, at least within corporations anyway. It’s a way to encourage positive professional behaviour through the visualisation of their labour as having been fruitful.
The methods previously mentioned are a good way for collectives to measure the success of their endeavors, whilst also being beneficial to the collective’s well-being.
Sales targets encourage competition because success is also defined by what you are measuring it against. There is no success without failure. This fosters a competitive milieu in the workplace and drives business growth. So, sales targets are a good way to create a one-size-fits-all solution to the quantifying of success and an excellent means to give employees a sense of purpose, helping them to feel fulfilled in their jobs, thus prompting a drive for more growth; and so the cycle continues. Individuals themselves are likely to become frustrated if the only method of calculating whether or not they are to be considered successful is through a quick glance at a sales chart. Success is something all of us should be entitled to feel and so we must find new avenues to success and if those avenues do not exist then we must pave them into existence.
More traditional categorizations of success as an approach to feeling good about oneself are always successful because of their entrenchment into society. For example, an artist having their work exhibited in a gallery or a writer having their piece published in a journal. This comes from an acceptance into the public arena, the wider one’s work is distributed, the more successful; that is the line. However, you should not be cheated out of success and the pride you feel when a friend or colleague remarks that they enjoy your work, you should not be discounted simply because of the absence of your work’s presence in the public eye. This is not to compare these scales of success directly, though. To propose that the number of people that appreciate you and deem you to be successful does not matter is short-sighted. We are defined by our relationships to other people and so should not ignore someone’s universal acclaim, alleging it to be on an equal footing to everyone else’s, obviously smaller-scaled successes. Acknowledging equality amongst people does not equate to the dismissal of palpable significance.
To underpin the previous point that everyone is entitled to feel successful, you also have to become your own enthusiast. Set targets of varying sizes over shorter and then longer periods of time; this will help make your route to success seem less immaterial if the conduits and objectives are laid out neatly in your head. Do not feel afraid to congratulate yourself on your smaller successes; just remember to consider them within the context of your overriding ambitions. Wishing you a more fulfilling life.