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Managing to Make a Difference by Larry Sternberg

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Chapter 70Define What Success Means to You

Defining success is a challenging and nuanced philosophical exercise. The answer is profoundly personal and, therefore, different for each individual. If you devote your life to a cause you deem worthy, but you do not achieve your goals, are you a success? If you achieve your goals, but were dishonest in your approach, are you a success? If your art is not appreciated during your lifetime, are you a success? The answers are up to you and only you.

Moreover, as we gain wisdom, as our perspective evolves, the answer might well change. So we are all well-advised periodically to reflect on this question: What does success mean to me? The struggle to find the answer will likely generate more value than the answer itself.

The answer to the question about success begins with the ancient maxim, “Know thyself.”

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