It’s only when you free yourself from external definitions of success that you’re able to comprehend the folly of this type of pursuit. Ask yourself: What’s the point of attaining a goal if it isn’t going to satisfy your internal needs? All you’re going to end up with is some form of a trophy (money, a big house, a nice watch, some press clippings) alongside a big bowl of unhappiness and dissatis- faction. You can only define yourself as a success if the result of your actions is the satisfaction of your internal desires, not that of some superficial, outside force. It isn’t relevant if society deems you a success—it’s whether you believe you’re achieving success that matters. For some this may mean fame and fortune, but for others it may just mean putting food on the table every night for their family and having a loving relationship with their spouse. The determining factor is how you feel and what you desire on the inside. The first and most powerful step is realizing you have the power to determine what success looks like for you. Only then can you free yourself from the myth and begin the journey of living your truth.
Alan Philips The Age of Ideas: Unlock Your Creative Potential