Someone one asked me what it took to be successful, this is a difficult question because it all depends on what you actually mean by success, you could be referring to success being an expression of your life in the terms of an external goal which could be for example; the attainment of higher social status, achievement of a goal, an academic achievement or even just a promotion at work.

Those of you with an away from mentality you may also define your success as not being a failure, not being poor, or not having to do menial work.

Whatever you drive either towards something or away from something perhaps one of the important factors is not the definition, instead it is the traits that you need in your character to actually achieve whatever the goal is that you have set yourself.

On this subject one of the best places to start is to learn a little more about these traits is to watch this short 3 and a half minute presentation by Richard St. John Talking at a TED conference about success.

I think this TED Talk is a great place to start you on the road to success, (it’s also a great introduction to TED talks).

But before you start on your journey with the traits that you need, perhaps take a step back and really think about where you really want to go in life, because I would like to think that success is instead about being able to make time in your life to do the small intangible things that make all of the difference.

When you look back on your life it’s these small moment that you will remember, that make you feel happy and what gives your life real value.

To get this point across perhaps read The Story of the Mexican Fisherman which may well add a different perspective to the term success especially if you are only trying to measure it with external or materialistic goals.

Success in my eyes is about the journey, it is about the challenges on the way, it’s about where you have come from, and it’s about what you can’t measure that gives your life real value, success is about picking yourself back up and learning from failure and it’s about doing your best and doing it in the right way and in the words of Dale Carnegie;

Success is getting what you want, Happiness is wanting what you get.

There may be a time when the price of success takes away some of the things that are really valuable in your life, so my final advice to you is to concentrate on giving your life real value and depth and not to just strive for the shallowness of success at all cost measured by materialistic goals.

This article about success was originally posted in May 2011 and totally rewritten in September 2014.