How To Measure Success In Life Your Own Damn Way

Published by Paul Harrison on

You can tell a lot about yourself just by asking a simple question:

That question is:

How to measure success in life?

You can have the perfect mindset for success. But it’s worthless unless you actually measure success in a healthy way.

We’re all driven by different ideas of success.

For some it’s cold hard money and an arbitrary number in a bank account.

For others it’s fame—how many people are reading my blog, listening to my music, watching me on stage?

And for others it might be how happy your family is; a happy family is a successful life.

The way in which you measure success reveals a lot about your personality.

Here’s what you can learn about yourself based on how you measure success in life.


So, how to measure success in life…?



How To Measure Success In Life–6 Ways

1: If you measure success based on money, here’s a little about you

So you measure success based on money alone.


That’s your motivation.

That’s what gets you up in the morning and keeps you motoring on through the day.

And if there’s a lot of money in your bank account, you feel successful in life.

Money means different things to different people.

Some people make money simply to have nice items. Some people make money to feel secure. Some make money to give it away to charity. Some make money simply so they can say “Look at me, I have so much cash I could buy you.”

Some people invest ethically. Others, not so much.

If you measure success based on money alone, it means you’re a logical person who has business smarts and who knows how to get ahead in life.

That’s the good news.

The bad news:

If you measure success in life on money alone you lack spirituality, emotion, and compassion. You’re also failing to recognise the true value of money.

Because money isn’t about a number.

It’s about the amount of people, animals, and causes it can help.

Your money could go to helping starving kids in Africa.

It could go to making your friends and family feel happy and secure.

It could go to helping poor people get a break in this often cruel world.

That’s the real value of money.

If you measure success in life on money alone, try to see the real value of that money. Your money is worthless unless it goes to helping something worth helping–family, friends, charities, whatever you personally determine matters.





2: If you measure success in life based on how many friends you have

Another way people measure success in life is based on their social networks.

If you have a lot of friends you feel more successful. You love going out socialising. You feel important because you are popular.

If you have lots of friends:

  • You contribute to other people’s lives
  • You are influential
  • You hold a social power-card

There are lots of benefits in having a great social network:

  • You share your life with others
  • You go to cool social events
  • You feel connected


One mistake made by those who measure success on life is this. They consider friendship a number more than a meaningful connection.

When you care too much about the number of friends you have, you’ll do anything just to increase that number.

But if you only see friends as a number you’re missing the point. Friendship is about making a meaningful contribution to other people’s lives. You can make as big a contribution with ten friends as you can with ten thousand if you’re truly very close to those friends.

If you measure success on your social life, measure the value of the contribution you’re making to other people’s lives, not just the number of friends you have.




3: If you measure success based on your relationship

Lots of people measure success in life based on their marriage or relationship.

These people don’t need a lot of money or a lot of friends, they just need to feel that they are truly closer to that one special person in their life.

This can lead to fantastic relationships. You’re fully committed and you truly care about the person you’re with. That special someone can truly feel the connection too. They know your relationship is sacred and they love you for it.

Problems can arise when you judge your relationship too much.

You’re eager to make your relationship a success so you put a lot of emphasis on it. You ignore issues because your relationship just has to be perfect.

But a lot of marriages end in divorce specifically because people want perfection.

This happens when you’re more concerned with making your relationship meet your personal idea of success rather than letting the relationship be what it is.

If you measure success based on your marriage or relationship, make sure you actually enjoy the relationship.

A flower is a beautiful thing. But lean on it and it will bend. Stamp on it and it will die.


4: If you measure success based on the things you actually do

One of the most popular ways of measuring success in life is to simply measure what you actually do.

  • You have a bucket list
  • You’re meeting most of your life goals
  • You make the most of every day
  • You are constantly travelling
  • You’re living an active life.

This can be a fantastic way of measuring success in life.

After all, life is to be lived, right?

If you make the most of every day of your life you will surely end up with a successful life, and you will do a lot and have a lot of fun. Excellent.

Besides, research has proven that money is only worth it if you spend it on experiences.

People who measure success in life on events often burn out.

If you think you have to get a ton done every single day you will often force yourself to do a lot when in truth you just want to put your feet up and chill out for a day, maybe in your pajamas with a cup of cocoa and Netflix.

If you measure success in life this way, make sure you’re not putting unnecessary stress on yourself.

You’re an active person and probably fit, but sometimes you just need to chill out, you know?


5: If you measure success in life based on your contribution to the environment, nature, and animals 

If you measure success in life based on your contribution to the world and to the environment you are probably a deep and happy person.

You understand true beauty and true value in the world.

  • You don’t care so much about money.
  • You don’t care whether you have the perfect job.
  • You care about helping nature.
  • You care about helping animals and the environment
  • You are mindful and spiritual
  • you are a very loving person

One mistake made by those who measure success in this way is that they can be judgmental.

You feel alienated from others who do not value the environment so highly.

Stick to your own beliefs. Do what you feel is right. But let other people be who they are.

Judging others for not perfectly recycling isn’t going to get you anywhere. It won’t make you happy and it won’t actually make people recycle properly either. Sure, you and I know why it matters, but they don’t. That’s okay. No one’s perfect. Let them be. Love them anyway.



6: If you measure success based on your religion or spirituality

You measure success based on how closely you follow your religion.

  • Maybe it’s your connection to God (or gods)
  • Maybe it’s how enlightened you are 
  • You have contemplated the divine
  • You see the deeper picture.
  • You have awoken

People who measure success in this ways have good morals.  And they are healthier (science has proven that spirituality makes you healthy)

Error comes in a variety of forms

Is your religion truly your religion? So you have Catholic parents. So what. Are you a catholic? Or are you just doing what your family expects? If it’s the latter you’re lying to yourself and you’re following an idea of success that isn’t even yours.

How do you follow your religions? Do you hate other people with different beliefs? That’s not going to help anyone.

Do you stuff your religion down people’s throats? They’ll hate you for it and you will not actually help the cause of your religion at all.

And then there are extremists. Let’s not even go there. Let’s just pray for peace and love.

If you measure success based on religion, spirituality or beliefs, make sure they truly are your own beliefs and that you are following them correctly.


So what’s the right way how to measure success in life? 

There are many ways how to measure success in life.

None in perfect.

A well-balanced person will base success on a combination of the criteria above.

  • You have to value money because… life.
  • You need friends because without people to share your life with what’s it worth?
  • You need relationships because you’re human.
  • Without the environment humanity will not survive.
  • Religions and beliefs give your guidance.
  • And you need life experience because without that what have you actually done?

It takes energy to be successful. Make sure you’re heading towards the right kind of success.

The right way to measure success in life is a combination of many factors.

So how do you measure your own success? 

Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a meditation teacher, author and journalist based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential. Don’t miss Paul’s inspirational and enlightening book: Your Best Meditation