Immigrant neuroscientist goes from bakery to farm to grad school

To me, being successful means...
creating an intentional community of people who support each other, growing into relationships in every way. It is truly not about your own success.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
I slowly learned that it's not about the popularity, the brand, the namesake...

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Left for 9 years and came back to Palo Alto

To me, being successful means...
finding meaning in the way I live my life, and the blessing of experiencing a wide range of positive emotions along the way.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
It's not about money and prestige anymore.

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how to be happy, despite all expectations

To me, being successful means...
being a happy and productive citizen of the world.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
I used to think success was dictated by the brand names that made it onto your resume. Letting go of those expectations for myself was the most productive decision I have ever made.

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Scripps, Therapist, California

To me, being successful means...
being happy and confident in myself. having positive relationships with people who love me as much as I love them.

My definition of success has not changed over time. 

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Road less travelled is rocky but eventually evens out

To me, being successful means...
Being successful means not being afraid to try, fail and try again.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
I used to associate success quantitatively. Especially growing up in a community that values high achievers, never receiving 100% or A+, I grew up constantly feeling like a failure.

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Just because you live in Palo Alto, doesn't mean you have to be the next Steve Jobs.

To me, being successful means...
Being in an industry that you as passionate about and excited to be involved in. 

My definition of success has changed over time. 
Growing up in Palo Alto, I associated success with money. Now I associate it with happiness. If you are getting up for a job you hate everyday, where you are uninspired, what is the point? What I do literally gives me butterflies in my stomach. I may not be making money yet, but that's not my first priority. I live for it.

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From Blah to Badass: One Woman's Journey to Grab Life By the Balls

To me, being successful means...
Pursuing a life that makes me happy. Having balance with my work life, social life, and relationship with myself. Being able to afford my independence.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
I used to think success was based on more tangible identifiers. Such as my degree, my car, my job status, whether I was still asking my mom for money. Now I look at it in a broader more wholistic lens.

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There are many paths to medical school

To me, being successful means...
Pushing myself to learn more every day, to be a better person every day, to enjoy every moment as much as I possibly can. It means not wasting the precious time I have in my life, on making a difference in the world as much as I can.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
When I was in high school I thought there was a rigid path to success. That the only way I could succeed was by getting the right grades, doing the right things and picking the right career. As I got older, I realized that there are many different paths to the same place. I am lucky to have had the opportunities that Palo Alto afforded me, to have gained the work ethic that I did there. But it wasn't my grades that defined me, it was my experiences.

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Project Manager, DePaul, Illinois and Germany

To me, being successful means...
Being happy with yourself and seeing as much as the world has to offer as possible.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
I used to think money and status was the most important thing. I realized rich and powerful people were still unhappy with themselves.

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UC Davis, Attorney, California and China

To me, being successful means...
Being happy with myself and achieving the goals that I have set out for me.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
The realization that personal success and happiness comes through reflection and being exposed to different things in life in order to identify what is truly important.

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Stanford, now Law School, California

To me, being successful means...
Engaging in work that is meaningful to you; work that you feel makes a positive impact on others. 

My definition of success has changed over time. 
I used to think my work or position as a "successful person" could only be so if there was a tangibly measurable output.

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Chess Instructor & Master-level Player; Statistical Analyst

To me, being successful means...
Being able to relax and enjoy life. Specifically, not having a high stress career, and having friends that are similarly laid back.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
I used to think of success in terms of being able to make a lot money and probably having some kind of high tech job. But it's a big world out there with a lot of time to find what you are passionate about.

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Dancing your way, out of PA

To me, being successful means...
Accomplishing goals and tasks that I set for myself no matter how big or small.

My definition of success has changed over time.
I used to think it was about what you did, but now I believe how you did it is more important.

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What you were in high school does not define you for the rest of your life!

To me, being successful means...
Feeling fulfilled in life and doing something you enjoy, life is too short to be unhappy.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
Yes, in high school I didn't try at all I barely graduated high school with a 2.0 GPA. It wasn't until I decided that I wanted to take school seriously that I excelled. I went to community college which I thought was easier then [high school] then pursued my bachelors degree and I am currently in graduate school and I should be graduating with honors next year.

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Here's a toast for the dropouts

To me, being successful means...
I feel nothing but contempt and frustration toward the use of words like "success" and "failure" being introduced to adolescents. I've always had a huge problem with the idea that from a very young age, I'm supposed to measure my self-worth by my ability to "get stuff done", whether that means fulfilling my own goals or those of someone else. And while this frustration emerged mostly out of a youthful nihilism that I'm beginning to think is endemic to Palo Alto kids, it became even more emboldened as the years went on and I realized a vast amount of my time in the Palo Alto School District was spent disciplining my body and mind rather than liberating my spirit.
People will tell you that there are things you "need" to do to survive in this world, that you have to play the game because you don't want to end up like "them". Don't listen. Your youth is precious. Don't waste it worrying about someone else's idea of "success".

My definition of success has changed not over time. 

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Singer. Teacher. Student of Life.

To me, being successful means...
Being able to take care of myself and those I love, and feeling happy with my life.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
It's so much broader than I ever could have imagined it growing up.

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Medical student and academic researcher

To me, being successful means...
Loving yourself, loving a craft or finding a passion, and loving others.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
My definition has changed from a "paper chase" perspective, where I thought achieving high academic marks was most important, to something related more to what simply makes me happy.

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Work hard, worry less, and enjoy the ride.

To me, being successful means...
Being happy.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
I used to focus mostly on academic and financial success. But that matters less and less as you get older. Success as happiness (a measure that comprises love, friendship, leisure, good and interesting work, etc.) is my focus now.

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