The 10-Day Turnaround

Your 1st Step To Doubling Your NET Income While Taking An EXTRA Day Off Each Week
Warren Buffett’s lesson about true success
[Click on the 3-min. audio above before reading the lesson below]

In 2006, Warren Buffett pledged to give away almost his entire fortune to charities.  He is adamant about not funding monuments to himself - no Warren Buffett buildings or halls.

He says, “I know people who have a lot of money.  And they get testimonial dinners and hospital wings named after them.  But the truth is that nobody in the world loves them.  When you get to my age, you’ll measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you.  That’s the ultimate test of how you’ve lived your life.”

Isn’t that interesting how a multi-BILLIONAIRE says NOTHING about money in his definition of success?

And yet, how much time do most of us spend obsessing about making more money and all the things we want to do with that money when we make it?

Can TRUE success really be measured in dollars?

Today’s lesson is to rediscover your OWN definition of “Success” - what does Success mean to you?

How - specifically - will you know you have been “successful” in your own life?

If you’re like most people, you had trouble answering that question in specific terms.

You probably got a picture in your mind of a beautiful new house, shiny sports car, or sun-drenched beach. You may have thought of your family gathered around the dinner table with smiles on their faces. Or a large paycheck being sent to you on a regular basis.

Those all could be components of success, but they don’t really define success. And, without getting a clear definition of success, it’ll be kind of hard to determine when we achieve it, don’t you think?

So let’s address that question again:

What does success really mean?

Robert Louis Stevenson said,

“That man (or woman) is a success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men (and women) and the love of children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who leaves the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem or a rescued soul; who never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had.” (parens added)

Bob Dylan summed it up simply,

“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.”

As you can see, none of these writers said success is lots of money or luxury cars or new homes. All these things are symbols of success, but they are not true success.

Objects and experiences such as these exist on the physical surface of our world. Success, however, is much deeper than that.

As William H. Danforth said,

“Our most valuable possessions are those which can be shared without lessening; those which, when shared, multiply. Our least valuable possessions are those which, when divided, are diminished.”

Read that quote again. It contains a key distinction in the concept of success.

Now think about YOUR OWN descriptions of what you consider YOUR OWN “most valuable” and “least valuable” possessions.

Let’s look at Danforth’s quote again:

“Our most valuable possessions are those which can be shared without lessening; those which, when shared, multiply. Our least valuable possessions are those which, when divided, are diminished.”

That means that money and all the things it buys are one of the LEAST valuable possessions we have.

Yet most of us spend the majority of our lives working at jobs we can’t stand or businesses we don’t really believe in just to earn some money to buy some things that are some of the least valuable possessions in our entire lives.

When we put it that way, it really places things into perspective about what “success” is really all about, don’t you think?

Today’s learning is to take a few minutes to think about your own “most valuable” and “least valuable” possessions, and your own definition of success and share your insights you’ve gained from this lesson below.

56 Responses to “Warren Buffett’s lesson about true success”

  1. Gordon Says:

    Wonderful and clear, with regard to what is valualbe. However not to diminish the value and place for money. Money can be the life blood of any Great Cause, be it family, economic,or spiritual..
    Thanks again for the insight.

  2. Sunita Pandit Says:

    Jeff, Mr. Buffett is right on the money as the worst condition any human can experience is loneliness. But in the process of procuring your tribe of relatives, friends and acquaintances that you can count on through thick and thin, one has to make sure that the process does not fry you. Relationship building takes years of experience to understand and mold. In my book the ultimate is truly to find and befriend those of equal if not higher intelligence than your own and have brain sex with them. This really leads to meaningful relationships and the word lonely will never enter your vocabulary! The art of achieving this has many paths. The key is to never compromise on the intelligence because if you do, you will drain yourself and that does not accomplish anything. I could expand upon this with anecdotes, stories and personal experience but I think that may require a blog or something!
    Look forward to more form you!
    Sunita Pandit
    Entrepreneur in Training

  3. Pat Volk Says:

    Excellent.and true!I am 80 years old and have a unique outlook on life because of my age.Sort kot looking back and a summation of the journey and the struggles.It does make one wonder, “what is it all about?”The answer is elusive.I believe in the statement,”man’s reach should exceed his grasp.or what;s a heaven for?I believe that is Frost.

  4. Martyne Says:

    My succes in life is measured by what I teach my children you they can go on making this world a better place, how compationnate I am to others. Most nights, when I go to bed, I check to see if I took the time to perform random acts of kindness to my fellow human beings, no matter who they are, where they’re from or what their particular situation might be. Over time I have realized that giving a meal to someone who cannot afford it. helping a mother who’s got her hands full and young children in tow, smiling to someone who looks depressed. It’s the little things, the random acts of kindness, the stuff that makes other people a little happier. That’s what success is to me. Now, if I could manage a big enough passive income stream, I could perform them a lot more AND help people financially. To me that would be a bigger success. Money does not make you successful, but it sure helps in giving you the freedom to persue the endeavors that do give you a successful life.

  5. palen Says:

    In a very real sense, success to me means being able to exhale. It means that I have love in my life and friends and family to share it with. It means being able to do some of the things I want- but more importantly, it is the ease with which I am able to do them, and the ease I feel when I’m doing them, and the ease I am able to offer to others. It means finally having mastered something that I’ve played cat and mouse with my whole life- and it means being satisfied with the experience of just being myself. When I imagine being successful- nothing feels more true.

  6. Steve Says:

    Your blog and comments have really made me think what is really important.

    The love from others like friends, and family, are all you really can take with you to make your life feel like it was really worth living.

    In today’s society It can be to easy to forget all this, and what is really important.

    Thank you for reminding.

  7. May Perumal Says:

    I totally agree. Money is a necessary evil which we really need to have to live. Other than that it does not bring happiness as much as other things mentioned. Thanks and God bless.
    May

  8. Sari Yrjölä Says:

    I think like Warren Buffett and William H Danforth. For me success is giving. I believe the more you give, the more you will have to give. I’ve seen that in reality in my own life. Also the motive for making money for me is to be able to give more away. To help people help themselves. And when they’ve been helped I’ve succeeded if they help someone else when they have a chance for it. What you give can be anything. It can be love, compassion, time, helping hand or even money, but in most cases it’s something else. And when you do that with unconditional love wanting nothing for yourself in return….for sure they will remember you. And you have just made this planet a bit better place.

  9. Joyce Dahlquist Says:

    Wow - great thoughts. Money comes into success for me because it can give me time and a sense of security. I hate worrying about the outflow of money and whether I am going to have enough for the bills and emergencies of life. But for me success is time with my family. The ability to travel if and when I want to. The love of my awesome husband, wonderful adult children and incomparible grandkids. Success is finding my life’s purpose and fulfilling it. Success is service to God.

    Thanks for making me thing about the TRUE meaning of success and not the superficial things - money and possessions!

  10. Gwen Says:

    To be successful is to be loved, to love and to love all living things. The truth of life is in the now, not the could have would have or should have. We all want to have success, which we seek in family, friends & coworkers. Least valuable is what others think of me. If I am happy with myself it is irrelevant to what others think.

  11. JoAnn Says:

    Most of us are not born into a privileged environment and we recognize that certain obligations and responsibilities are to be met. This drives us to work hard to make a better way for our families. Because there is no apparent pathway to a better situation, most do not take the time needed to consider that life can be better and there is a way to spend more time with our children or take a vacation. That’s why grandparents typically get to enjoy the grandchildren more. Our focus is typically on work and bringing in the money. We must look at life a little differently and make a commitment to sharing time with our families or taking a vacation. What we typically do is focus on work and make other arrangements for our families, etc. when work challenges pop up. We must focus on what is of real importance in life and make other arrangements for work challenges that threaten to block our real priorities in life. In this way, we succeed.

    My most valuable priority is my family. Helping them to create happier and more successful lives is my ambition. Seeing the fulfillment of that dream gives me joy.

    Thank you for reminding me that success comes when we focus on what is precious to us instead of work challenge that can block the pathway to all that we care about.

  12. Hercil Says:

    To Me Success Is Being Happy With Life.

  13. Sal Says:

    You know, this is interesting and timely for me. My husband and I just moved from a large house to a smaller one and my garage is filled with “Stuff”, stuff that I enjoyed, appreciated and loved having in our larger house where we had places we could enjoy them. Now they sit in the garage waiting for us to get the garage sale we’ll be having organized and you know, I don’t miss them at all and I’m finding myself really assessing the things that are in our current home… do I really need or even want all this stuff? Amazing how we accumulate it isn’t it? I love having a comfortable, welcoming, and pleasing home, a place for friends and family to gather, enjoy and connect. However, at this time I’m finding that my real desire is to make a difference somehow in this lifetime, a direction that would put more love, peace, comfort, joy, nourishment of body, mind, and spirit where it is needed…. which seems to be everywhere right now. I would consider accomplishing this as one of my best successes. My most valuable possesions are my peace of mind, sense of self and my place in the world, my connection to All That Is, and fullfilling my purpose, all of which I’m begining to realize so I’m putting most of my focus there at this time in my life. Financial Freedom, however does help with not having to worry about where your next meal will come from or how the rent will get paid so it, too, is important and allows for a greater opportunity to help…… is it necessary? No, but it would be my preference. Success? Finding the gifts in my mistakes and focusing on those rather than the mistakes; finding love, compassion, and empathy rather than fault (in myself first, then others); taking 100% responsibility for myself, my life,attitudes, choices, words, thoughts, actions, and deeds; living as if my being on this planet makes a difference. Insights from this lesson are greater clarity in what is truly important to me. And, yes, greater financial freedom is still one of the things I desire :>).

  14. Teresa Says:

    Success defined by me…living and creating my ideal lifestyle. Yes, a HUGE part of that is built around relationship enhancement…which lets love flourish and thrive to an even greater degree than before. When it comes to love - it doesn’t necessarily cost money…remember the saying - “the best things in life are free” - love fits perfectly in there…”the best things in love are free”. For instance, one of my definitions of love for myself includes appreciation…so my wonderful husband learned that about me early on in our relationship. So when I do something such as cooking or doing laundry he says how good it was & a simple thank you which in turn lets me do it without “having to” or holding a “grudge” because no-one appreciates all the work I put into it. That feeds my appreciation spirit in me. So each one of us has a different definition of what love means to us. Once you define that for yourself - you then go about teaching others so they will know how to display love for you. I remember a lesson I learned from my mom. When she comes for a visit she always does the dishes, sweeps my floor, some type of housework. I used to think that she thot I wasn’t clean enough or that I couldn’t do it as good as her - (false belief). Then it dawned on me that is her way of showing/displaying me love - non-verbally. So sometimes, it is the little cues people give you that you have to become aware of. The money will create opportunities & options for me to use to achieve my lifestyle.

  15. Atman Says:

    ” In the end the love you make is the love you take ” The Beatles

    ” Happiness is a journey. Not a destination ”

    ” Success in life comes not from holding a good hand, but in playing a poor hand well “- K. Hildebrand -

    ” Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work…” - Thomas A. Edison -

    ” Happiness is not what you have . It’s the ability to enjoy what you have…”

  16. Michael Gale Says:

    Being from Nebraska myself, I have idolized Warren Buffett and his insights for many years. I still however, have always measured success by “Stuff”. “Stuff” to me is all the things that you desire and acquire throughout life. (Big house, $40k Cadillac, high paying job, etc) At one point I believed these would influence others to believe or at least think that I am a big success in life. I have discovered more recently that none of those “things” never bring true happiness! Once something is obtained it is still only a posession. I for one am still in search of true happiness and a purpose in life.

  17. Lloyd Wyant Says:

    The common thread is that true success is in being a success in all facets of life.
    One MUST build joyus and lasting relationshipswith both family and others.( How sad the person who accumulates much wealth and dies unloved.)
    “Love one another as Christ loved the Church.” If you are not helping others, what good are you? Every time you give a helping hand, you have reqached another level of suiccess. And it WILL come back to you.
    “You”ve got stqnd for something or you will fall for any thing.” (from an old country song) To me, doing God’s will is the most important aspect of success. That is one part of the total person.
    And of course, there’s money. If one seeks money for money’s sake, he/she will miss thje boat. I have a goal—to establish a Chjristian school where our little congregation is building a new Sanctuary. This will require a massive amount of money. A small amount of it will also improve my famfily’s lifestyle too. but , if we don”t get that extra, we are qall right any way.
    Success for me is a journey, not a destination.
    Daily, I strive to improve body ,mind, soul and finances.

  18. Frank Svolba Says:

    To continue with Pat Volk’s quotation (above) on “man’s reach should exceed his grasp”, when we make the “grasping” of anything our ultimate goal the achievement of it must be conditional and will have no virtue of it’s own. Getting rich, for example. You can commit all of The Seven Deadly Sins in the pursuit of monetary wealth, but they aren’t called “deadly ” for nothing. They each represent a secular condition. But, “Love thy neighbor” represents a spiritual condition and Buffett has proved that love and wealth do not have to be mutually exclusive terms. Who would you rather be like? Howard Hughes or Warren Buffett? Ever wonder why some people of great celebrity and wealth commit suicide? When they grasped everything they had reached for there was nothing left worth grasping. They couldn’t understand the next line, “or what’s a heaven for?”

  19. Rose Says:

    To me, our success is seen those we touch, our families, friends and acquainances. If you have money and that is what they care about, you may be successful in their eyes but you know why they are there. True friendships and family relations are not bought, although money is necessary to live.There has to be a balance in your life to say you are a success. I feel that I am a success because I have a daughter and a couple of grandchildren who allow me to be a part of their lives. My former husband is still my friend and willing to help me through the rough spots.

    Enough money to put a roof over your head and food on the table and a way to get these neccessities is all we truly need. All the rest are luxuries

  20. Catherine Says:

    My most valuable possession is the inner peace, joy, and love that is present in this blessed eternal moment and every moment of my life. I call this living in the NOW and living the blessed eternal YES! I look for harmony in all areas of my life. Money is energy, and in order to spread my light and live my life purpose, it is a necessary energy.

  21. Kathleen Says:

    Success to me is answering the questions did I do my best in all I encountered today? Did I appreciate all I was privilaged to see, to hear, to touch, to taste, to feel, to learn, to give, to enjoy, to be grateful for the gifts life offered to me today? Was I consciencous and present in every moment? I am successful and extremely wealthy when I can honestly answer all of those little questions with a definet yes I appreciated, and was grateful for all I encountered today, so far in this day I was grateful to be greeted by the pitter patter of little feet as I awoke this morning to my 23 month old grandson waking me up and how gentle and beautiful and full of love and light he is. I was grateful for his presence, his smile and his love, my next encounter was I was grateful to be able to help my daughter give (Andrew a ride to pre-school) for my daughter was running late to work, my next encounter was to appreciate and be grateful for the smell and taste of a good cup of coffee, the pleasant warm morning air coming through my window and the sounds of birds and crickets singing their lovely song and allowing me to know that the universe is alive and celebrating life. My next encounter was to drive my son to school and appreciating his gratitude for the ride and being happy I was able to do so. My next encounter was taking my daughter sarah to Circle k for a hot cup of chocolate as she had a sore throat and likes hot drinks and cool ice cream when her throat is not feeling well, and I was graetful I could help elivate her throat and be able to purchase the hot chocolate and have transportation to get to and from the store. My next encounter was to open my emails and read messages and recieve some wonderful gifts from friends and family like the email that lead me to this site. I was grateful for this opportunity for the ten-day turnaround and appreciate all i have read and heard so far. A wealthy and successful life can be measured in so many ways that true success is anything that can be measured with a sincere feeling of gratitude and appreciation for all things big and small.

  22. Ayn Elise Says:

    I once worked at a Residential Treatment Center for Abused Children. If for only one minute on one day that I worked there, I made an impression, that surpassed the situation one of them had come out from; that is success and a way to be happy. The money I made when I worked there has long since been spent. I don’t care if my name is remembered. Just that someone had an impact by what was said or done and that it lasted- changed something.

    It’s so tempting to get caught up in things that are tangible to represent success or display success or wealth…Money is idolized, people are idolized and we’re bombarded with a lot of those kind of images in the news and media. Happiness is not a thing or things, but rather a state of being…most of the time when people say they have fallen in love they would also say yes, they are happy. Learning to put yourself in that state without another person or an object of affection.. that’s part of the goal. ..being in that state without an excuse or a prop to get there… just get there. That has a relationship to success for me.

    Not entirely my own definition of success for me, but a part of how I look at success and wealth. Who are my heros? Everyday people who do out of the ordinary things…sometimes it’s extra-ordinary, sometimes it’s not. But they generally go out of their way to do something or they get stuck with a situation they decide to face and deal with it….. Just some thoughts from me.

  23. James Says:

    Jeff,

    How do you get up in the morning, go to bed at night and do what you love in between?

    I want to travel with my family, see the sites, and eat the best food. This is what I love to do, but I have to go to work in between getting up in the morning and going to bed at night.

    I understand that money doesn’t make you happy, but it does provide financial freedom and more time to enjoy life with your family.

  24. Donna Says:

    Success for me is to be able to do what I want, when I want and where I want - having the freedom to be there for family and friends, having the time to enjoy life, being able to contribute to favorite charities and organizations, being able to learn about and experience new places and things, sharing in knowledge and celebrating the success of others. In short, being able to live life to the fullest!

  25. Jason Says:

    Hello Jeff and thank you for this question. Success is defined in my life like Mr. Buffett’s view on that people he wanted to love him actually loved him. However; I also want to show as many people in this world the love I have for them and the love they could have for themselves and everyone they meet. I truly believe that a creative mind helps all and a competitive mind will always destroy someone. It’s like think positive and you will be positive, and think negative and you will be negative. Let me sum this up with, success is always going to be based on one’s view on their own experiences. I believe success is anything positive with no consequences; or success is not when one rises while another falls, but when we rise together we have success. To further my opinion I believe true success is to have complete honesty in your actions, and to not have hate in one’s mind. When you have hate in your mind it leads only to destruction, but when you have love and are honest with yourself you will have success.

    Thank you for your time, and I ready to get started tomorrow.

  26. Charles Conti Says:

    To have the wherewithall to create a atmosphere whereby many (thousands if not millions) people can learn anything they desire to and grow from that is something that can be passed down from generation to generation.To create foundations that can help people experience a better quality of health and wealth can greatly improve their lives.This type of activity can also create friendships with people around the world and a life of fulfillment.

  27. Crystal Says:

    There’s a quote I used to love, but which I’ve changed my mind about these last 3 days:
    “Success is getting what you want, Happiness is liking what you get”.

    Now, my personal view of success is more around doing what I want, than having it.
    A successful day for me is going to bed knowing I’ve lived the day to it’s fullest, touched lives in a positive way, and grown beyond what I was the day before.
    A successful life is one where I’ve journeyed from goal to goal, achieved things that matter to others as well as myself, and had (hopefully many) more successful days than otherwise.

    Crystal

  28. Tim Millar Says:

    It is truly a shame that most people never know the amount of success they really had,
    because my idea of success is how many people remember you when you are gone and how do they remember you. If they remember you with a smile on their face you were successful.
    I have trained hundreds of men and women to be carpenters in my 35 years on the job and can see the results in their lives and work, and I know when I am gone there will be tears on their faces but smiles in their hearts

  29. Dana Moore Says:

    i remember a quote i read several ago, and i don’t quite remember it word for word. but i think it goes something like this: ‘ If you help enough people to get what they want, then it will help you get what you want.’. and i know that in the past, i haven’t always practiced that in everyday life. but i intend to live that out more in my day-to-day encounters with the people i meet. very good post.

  30. Boris Says:

    All those quotes validate the famous saying ” the most important things in life aren’t things”.
    However, what I have also discovered is that humans have an inbuilt feeling of unsatisfaction, which comes into play regardless of what they have achieved. This is a natural part of evolution - we always want our circumstances to get better and better…and if we didn’t, we would still be at the cave man stage. This explains why most of us live like princes did several hundred years ago - abundant food, warmth, running water etc etc, but we are still unsatisfied. One of the reasons why we believe that love and friendship and other intangible feelings and emotions are more important than the tangible things, is that these feelings are much harder to sated by: how much does your lover have to love you until you feel fully loved? It is easy for Buffett to talk about the need for love, because he has accumulated his fair share of things to give away. The true goal most of us have to strive for is balance: love and friendship aren’t enough if we are dying of hunger and pain - and material goals without the intangibles of love, companionship, friendship, laughter, community etc will not bring us the happiness we strive for.

  31. Lani Says:

    Success for me will is when I am able to do what I want when I want with whom I want.

  32. adama touray Says:

    my own defination of success is getting what u want and be happy with what u get at anytime.
    a successful day for me is goin to bed with a very big smile on my face and in my heart knowing that i dont have any stress to be given me a sleepless night

  33. Fred Says:

    My view of success is to be able to give back to the communities not only my own time but resources to the youth and educational facilites where I mentor. My involvement helping to educate youth and adults on my own schedule gives me a full value of satisfaction.

  34. Joan Jones Says:

    Success is a journey for me, when I reach another goal I have set for myself, when I have used my goals to make a difference in someone’s life, when I have grown more as a person than where I was yesterday. I would like to make more money as I would like to share more, but I believe that doing what I can with what I have is what is really important. At 76 years of age I realize that its the little things that really count, and love is at the top of my list. The more I give, the more I get. I live alone but I am never alone. I feel very rich. and each day is a joy with a new days challenges, another opportunity. Maybe today I will find a new way to make it better. Maybe this opportunity will make a difference. Thank you.

  35. Darcy Says:

    I believe that just as our goals are modified over time, so does our definition of success. If you have a lot of financial stress in your life, your idea of success will be different than someone who has an abundance of money.

    Success to me is not only reaching the goals that I’ve set, but also how I evolve along the journey. Am I progressing along the way? Am I becoming more? Helping others more? Giving back?

    Each of us must start where we are currently at, and continually move forward from there. Our on-going evaluation of our progress will help us to determine if we are becoming more successful or not. As that happens, your definition of success will also change dynamically.

  36. Marion Says:

    To me success is being able to spend time with family and friends without having to worry constantly about the bills ( wheather the power is going to be shut off, whether I’ll be able to afford the oil to keep warm this winter, If I’ll be able to keep my home or even to put food on the table). I have struggled all of my life to make ends meet and have not been happy because of the stress of trying to make ends meet. I am hoping that one day I’ll be able to relax and enjoy life the way it was meant to be (HAPPY AND CONTENT). With this new bussiness it will free up some time to start toward my goals and also be able to help other families that are in the same situation that I have been in. Helping other always puts a smile on my face and makes me happy.

  37. Patty Says:

    Success is: a home to call my own
    utilities paid in full and on time every month
    a vehicle to get from point A to point B
    my family to love
    good friends
    a loving dog beside me
    the ability to help my family and friends
    to be all I can be

  38. DIANE Says:

    Money is only a tool. It can be used well or poorly. I like Warren Buffett’s idea of giving it away. Success is a tricky one. Perhaps one can feel successful in a project or reaching towards a goal but hopefully one is always striving, learning and growing towards ultimate success.

  39. John L'Estrange Says:

    I will be a success when I advance my knowledge about childrens’ learning across the globe. It will be my way of loving all, particularly those who might struggle if they don’t receive the message. I will be successful and know I am a success when this happens.I know my personal life will expand as a result.

  40. helen Says:

    Success is the freedom to give to others what will make a differance in their lives without hesitation or hardship to oneself, in doing so.

  41. Rosalie Says:

    I think beginning with Warren Buffet’s quote on success, and the quotes by Stevenson, Dylan and Danforth, was a wonderful way to open up a dialogue on “success.”

    I believe, for those who achieve it, real success is an afterthought.

    I was particularly struck, and agreed with Diane’s comments, regarding “money” being a “tool to be used well, or poorly,” as well as, “success is a tricky one.”

    I, too, feel there are times, when we get glimpses of success, but the challenge is staying in the moment, and fluid, by allowing those glimpses to be a source of inspiration, as opposed to becoming complacent, or being too aware of those moments, which can lead to stagnation on all levels.

  42. David Says:

    I think it is a great thought that one needs to be loved,but really loving ourselves without disrepect for othersis also important.My thoughs were going towards money and thinking that all it is ,is energy like food.love work ect,and the more energy we have the more we can transfer and what we do with that energy somehow identifies who we are or becoming.The final touch is that tiime should be enjoyed because it will run out,experiencies will transform us the most pehaps maney is one of the tools .stepping stones across the river to the new.

  43. Robert Morris Says:

    We breath, eat, drink, sleep and earn money as the basic and necessary conditions of survival. Try breathing without air or living without money. All these things are necessary ingredients of life but none of them are the purpose of life. They are just basic conditions of survival. I am in my 75th year on this planet and looking back I find my greatest sense of achievemnet and of happiness is in the wonderful relatinships that survive with people that I have actually contributed some help that was meaningful to them. Yes, I am now at a stage in life in which there is a shortage of money and I hav to learn to be an entrepreneur and get away fro being, albeit a well paid, slave to a large impersonal corporate giant. The sea of life is full of hungry sharks but there are some extrordinary dolphins and I owe to them my thanks for the encouragement to go on and win in the game of financial independance but that in itself will ot be success. The success will come in the new ability to help others who need to breath, eat and drink. I consider myself a very lucky person precisely because the pursuit of money s just a condition of moving along the wonderful road of life and discovery. The biggest problem in life and in the Internet is that there are too many people telling us what to do and far too few people ready to show us how to do.

  44. Lars Henriksson Says:

    My definition of success is:
    * A wife who loves me
    * Being healthy
    * Spending time with my children
    * Having a body in good shape
    * Deliver at work
    * Do an Ironman below 11 hours and ultimately qualify for Ironman, Hawai
    * Having a stable financial situation
    * A nice home
    …and a Porsche :-)

  45. Dan Says:

    Jeff,
    I understand the points that you are making.However, in my perspective, the very points of view you are using to establish a context, or, mindset, are being taken from quotes made by other people in a “particular point” in their lives.
    The question is,What was their stage of life when these comments were made? For example,What was Warren Buffets perspective 25 years before that?
    And, more importantly are they, or were they, really on purpose when they wrote them, or in their own lives?
    Did these people really live their dreams,or did they also continue in a career or profession, because they were good at it, or it produced a desired outcome?
    Is Love important? Yes.Is Money important ?Yes. Money is a form of energy used in exchange in this dimension.
    In my experience,without money ,you have no freedom to live your life on your terms.

    It appears to me, you are associating these peoples beliefs, with what we “should believe” success is .There is no difference between that,and the “mental brainwashing”
    you mentioned earlier, that “other people have associated with what success looks like”.

    The last thing I want to say is, I agree that we should not trade our lives for money, And, I think we should not view our lives in judgement,but in love.

  46. admin Says:

    Dan-
    Thank you for your response.
    As far as what we “should believe”… I don’t think there is anything we “should” believe- the whole point is for each of us to *consciously* choose our own beliefs.
    I hope that each of us chooses a *different* definition of success - a world full of clones would be one boring world, ya know? And as each of us chooses our own definition of success, one that is in integrity with our own values, principles and morals, then we are all consciously creating our own lives. As we live a life consciously created, we also become more accepting of others who have chosen a different path or who have different beliefs… and in fact celebrate differences as they make life interesting.
    I love it when people read through a post like this and see what Warren Buffett said or what some of the other quotes are — and then consciously decide, “Ya know what, that’s great for them, but that’s not how I look at it, or that’s not so important to me” and then go on to create their OWN answers to each of the questions we discuss.
    So the point is not that we “should” agree with any of these people - merely that they are examples- and the idea is for each of us to use that as our starting point, not our ending point, to launch ourselves from there and enjoy the freedom we each have to consciously choose our own set of beliefs that are in harmony with those things we hold dearest in our own heart. -Jeff

  47. Pat Says:

    Success to me is peace within myself, knowing I raised my children to be responsibile productive adults who are raising their children with good values as well. I’ve never thought about financial success, money was always tight, but I always made enough to take care of four children and myself and have a little extra to enjoy ourselves. People now ask me how I’m going to pay my bills in an economy that has virtually cut my income in half; my answer is God always took care of me, and he will now. We all have God given talents and now we have to reach in and re- invent ourselves again and continue to live our lives on our terms. I try to live my life on my terms and help others in any way I can, and most of the time I do. Gratitude is a very useful means to success as well as a smile and a kind word, there is no monetary value in those little things, but without them there is no joy. When I think about my accomplishments and see my family, happy, healthy and surviving my heart smiles.

  48. dan Says:

    “A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.” and money makes that happen and is the rute of all eveil. With family ,freinds or co workers. one just has to look for good in life.and let the rest go on by

  49. Sheila Says:

    Thanks for the reminder! Money helps us afford the time and resources to enjoy valuable experiences, but money is not the goal.

    However, money is an effective tool to help you expand your possibilities, as it enables you to be in a position to safely enjoy your life without stress, worry or fear of poverty.

    When you use money as a tool for your higher good, you can’t help but freely enjoy your life in the present moment. When you do this, you will surely leave the world a better place because you will have enriched the lives of all those you touched with your unique talents and abilities.

    Money is a valuable currency in today’s world. But I feel it’s important to remember that our true value comes from within.

    Your talents and abilities lead you to the money, and the money leads you to resources that help you develop more talents and abilities, which leads you to more money, which leads you to . . . I think you get the picture. It’s a prosperity cycle!

    Thanks for reminding me where the ball actually starts rolling. You are your most valuable resource. I am my most valuable resource. No one can give to the world what you can give.

    I think it’s time for all of us to step up and start giving more freely of our true selves. . . in the ways that really matter.

    I’m sure the world will be a better place because of what you are contributing to it! I appreciate, respect and value your efforts. Thank you.

  50. Christy Says:

    I obviously need to take more time to figure this all out! You’ve given me some great insight here. I am a “reality” thinker, understanding that money does make the world go ’round. I believe that you need money to be able to feel free, spend the time you desire with family and friends, and having the resources to do so is important. I also see that I tend to focus more on creating happiness for others than for myself. While this may be a good thing, we all need to focus on ourselves once in a while, right? Thank you.

  51. Val Says:

    True success is going to bed knowing you have done your best to make everyone you came in contact with feel good about themselves and their lives. Knowing your family have everything they need and most of what they want and are genuinely happy. Knowing you are achieving your goal of being the very best you can possibly be in every sense of the word.

  52. Rafael Subialdea Says:

    Success is differant under each circumstance. Getting from point A to point B, getting to work on time, or just finding time for lunch can be seen as successes. It can be differant for a thief, cop, terrorist or soldier. A mother needs to have many differant successes as does a student everyday, ect. My success can be working to hold public officials accountable, lending a helping hand at school, church or charity. In life, I have to settle for trying to make it a better world than I found it, even when I fail. Trying to teach others to empower themselves wheather I succeed or not, it is empowering because It makes me more hopeful and less depressed. I don’t know if I will learn to make money

  53. Paula Says:

    Success to me is a life well lived. Surrounding myself with the things I love brings me joy which, in turn, I share with others. My relationship with my husband, my sweet furry companions, family and friends: laughter, books, knowledge, great food. and a business that I love to share with others.. these are a few of my favorite things.

  54. Susan Glenn Says:

    I think that success is many things. If we look at every living thing in the universe, it’s natural state is to be in an equilibrium or balance and human beings are no different. When we are in balance in every sector of our life, we have achieved success. I heard someone once say that money is like oxygen, you need it to survive. Tell a man who is starving that he is successful because he has people who love him and if he is going to bed hungry, I don’t think he will feel successful. Tell a man who has millions in the bank that he has lots of money but if no one loves him, he will not feel satisfied because he has no love in his life. Perhaps true success is feeling satisfied that we have all the important parts of our life in balance, work, relationships, health, spirituality and finances. If I can look back on life and feel that I have been able to achieve success in each of these parts of my life, I think I will feel that I have been successful.

  55. Kenneth Says:

    My life is a success when I live it in the way GOD intended me to live it. I believe that GOD had a purpose for each one that he created. Money, as has been stated, is not an end in and of itself but is the means to an end. The Bible does not say that money is evil. It does say “the love of money is the root of all evil” It also says “we cannot serve GOD and Mammon.” I believe that the word as used here is the personification of wealth. So bringing it all together we get the truth that if we give our lives for gaining wealth just for wealth or money’s sake so that we can just hoard it and keep it to ourselves we will end up being a most miserable person. Another quote from the Bible, “as a man soweth so shall he also reap. I believe that what was said by one of you about the quote, “we will get what we want when we help other people get what they want’ is a quote from Zig Ziglar and is actually another way of describing the above stated Biblical principal of sowing and reaping.
    I would be quick to admit that we need money to function in this world and I am seeking ways of having income for a comfortable retirement but I also hope to be able to help different needy causes.
    Someone above gave this quote from the Beatles, “In the end the love you make is the love you take”. I would say “the love you give is the love you keep”.

  56. Vernon Says:

    Success to me is being one with God’s plans for my life. Leaning to love God, Jesus Christ, The Holy Spirit, my self so I able to learn how to love others around me (my family, friends, associates, those in need, hose who don’t know that they have a need and my enimies), loving and leaning to receive love from those who are in line with my ordered footsteps. Also succes to me is having easy access to resources and opportunities to affect changes not only in me and my family but all those who are destined to walk into and with me as I walk into my ordered footsptes. Success at the beginning of the day means that I have my being, movement, new mercies, grac, forgiveness and lovingkindness in Christ Jesus and at the end of each day, I am able to thank God for making my pathway plain unto me and taking care of the attacks, fiery darts, and bombardments from my enemies. Having a sense of all is well and I have completed my task for today!

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