UCLA, Innovation Specialist, Writer and Entertainment Consultant, CA

To me, being successful means...
Freedom to realize potential, realize potential, follow the desires of your hear.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
Earlier in life it was attached to monetary / professional wins.

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Mother, pursuing dreams little by little

To me, being successful means...
Being able to provide for myself and my family, being content in the small moments with family and friends, continually learning and growing and being able to share my talents with others.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
Yes, not having completed graduate school I used to feel less than in some way when compared to my career oriented peers, but as I realized that I could keep learning and developing talents and pursuing interests on my own I have felt liberated to pursue my own life path that is meaningful to me.

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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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Failed Engineer, but Hopeful Self-Starter

To me, being successful means...
Accomplishing the goals I set out for myself. These change over time, but they more or less always point to building a career in an industry I am interested in and enjoy (so that working won't feel like "work"), having emotionally satisfying and rewarding relationships, and consistently working to improve my life as well as the lives of those around me.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
I used to believe success was numbers-based (grades, scores, salaries, etc). Numbers don't tell a story, though.

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Los Angeles Architect Designer

To me, being successful means...
Doing what I love, working hard at it every day, and realizing that I've grown by making mistakes.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
I don't associate success with (quick) fame or money, and have found that by just doing what I've described aa my idea of success, have found that the recognition and rewards are coming and feel that they are deserved.

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BoyzIIMen, U2, Mary J Blige, and Toad the Wet Sprocket

To me, being successful means...
accepting myself as an imperfect being, feeling strong and energized in my body, and cultivating healthy, mutually respectful relationships.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
It used to be more about quantity, like number of friends, amount paid, amount of influence, how well known I am. Now it's become more about the quality of my work and relationships -- noticing what nourishes me and what drains me, and making decisions about my life accordingly.

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Left for six months and never came back

To me, being successful means...
Being able to take pride in what you've made of your life.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
Although the core of my own idea of success hasn't changed, it has been a difficult and continuing struggle to keep my sense of accomplishment separate from parental expectations. You'd think at 40 it would be easier to look your parents in the eye and not be sorry for having chosen a path that doesn't involve marrying a person wealthy by inheritance or profession in order to secure a pampered and indolent life for oneself and one's offspring, but...in my experience, parents don't change. I had to build yourself the protective space I needed to keep myself from wishing I had never been born. 

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No Matter What, Don't Give Up

To me, being successful means...
Being able to look in the mirror and be happy with the person looking back. It helps to have a secure home and loving family, too. But those are rarely present or quickly flee without the mirror test, so that comes first. Can you be happy looking in the mirror?

My definition of success has changed over time. 
I learned that despite popular wisdom success is a group sport. I can't stand people who claim or imply that they "did it all on my own." The more I have scratched the surface of those stories over the years the more I find they are either delusions or outright lies. I recall one person I met years ago telling me how he had created a huge real estate empire entirely on his own, how "no one gave me a thing!" -- starting out with nothing, he insisted. I later learned he had inherited five SF properties from his dad. But he could not admit that. He just had to lie and claim to be a self-made man. What I have learned is that there is no such thing. There are just people who don't or won't recognize the people or situations that helped them.

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I love oak trees in the hills

To me, being successful means...
Loving life and being able to encourage and provide for others.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
It is less of a material target and more of an attitude or state of being.

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TV Editor, Los Angeles, CA

To me, being successful means...
Being true to yourself. Following your dreams. Finding what makes you happy. Being comfortable with your place in life.

My definition of success has not changed over time. 
Not really. I always wanted to make my way. I never really bought into all of society's ideas of who or what I should be.

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chapters of my life, traveler, wife, mother, and rancher

To me, being successful means...
being happy with where you are in your life. Being able to look back at my life and be satisfied with what I've done, and looking forward to the next chapters of my life.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
Having a good income is nice, but labels and things have never given me a fulfilled feeling. My actions have.

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Believe in Yourself and Be Optimistic. Speak Up!

To me, being successful means...
Being happy and content and enjoying life, living it to its fullest. Being able to relax if just for a moment and reflect on what I have, small or large, and feeling good about the choices I've made. It's about being grateful and being successful in LIFE, not necessarily a career. And life, to me, is not work. 

My definition of success has not changed over time. 
I assume that when I was younger (child/teen) I thought money meant success but I don't clearly recall any feelings one way or the other. It was hard to get away from seeing the wealth in Palo Alto and seeing what we did "not have" relative to others, in terms of material objects. My family and my friends' families were not rich and we lived in a neighborhood where grand homes, careers and money weren't flaunted and weren't a driving force. We didn't have as much as others but that was OK. My mom and dad did not espouse the idea that money equals success so in turn I was not raised to believe this. I am grateful for that and recognize the gift of growing up in PA and being comfortable and safe, while at the same time recognize that we were in a bubble and our perspectives are skewed because of that.

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From Close to Open Minded

To me, being successful means...
Doing what you love and making a difference in the world.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
When I first entered high school, I visualized success as a formula: You had to receive excellent grades on your transcript, participate in a plethora of extracurricular activities that proved to be meaningless over time, be athletic and play sports, be involved with music and instruments, and still maintain a healthy social and family life. It was basically to do the impossible, and I realized that being able to juggle all of these different activities is unhealthy and negatively impacts a lot of people around you. Biting off more than you can chew does not make you look cool or capable, it just makes you look stupid. I learned to cut back unnecessary commitments and activities, and to indulge in the ones that I loved rather than the ones that I felt obligated to do.

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