A few years ago my therapist asked me, “What do you want out of life?” I said the first thing that came to my mind: “I want to be successful.” He looked at me, puzzled, and replied, “What do you mean?” “You know what I mean,” I said. “I want to be successful. I want to be wealthy, powerful, and recognized.” In other words, I framed a conventional vision of success, the one drummed into us by popular culture and other social dimensions. My therapist chuckled at my naïveté for a moment and then asked, “Alan, why do you believe that wealth, power, and recogni- tion are the definition of success?” He then went on to explain to me that success is defined as “accomplishing an aim or purpose,” but the definition of that aim or purpose is up to the individual. My mind was officially blown.
Alan Philips The Age of Ideas: Unlock Your Creative Potential