It is not uncommon for someone to say that they want to be successful, and if this isn’t the case, it can be a sign that they are already successful. What this shows is important success is to some people.

For one person, success could mean having a fulfilling life, and for someone else, it could be based on achieving something specific. Therefore, success has more than one meaning and this comes down to that fact that people value different things.


If one has a strong need for approval, success could be as something they will have achieved when they are noticed by a certain amount of people. As a result, they could then have the need to be famous and/or to have enough money to buy the ‘right’ material objects.

It could then be said that one is more concerned with what other people think than they are with their own needs. However, all the time one needs other people’s approval, it might not be possible for them to see what is happening.

The Next Step

The pain that they experience through not getting enough approval could then be used to drive them forward. If they don’t have clear plan, they might just do everything they can to gain exposure.

And in today’s world of social media and reality TV; it could be said that it is easier than ever before for one to gain exposure. At the same time, this may mean that one is drawn to a profession that is seen as socially acceptable.


After a certain amount of time has passed, one may find that they have achieved what they wanted to achieve, and they could then sees themselves as successful. Yet although they have ‘made it’, so to speak, they could feel as though something is missing.

This could then cause them to take a deeper look at why they feel the way they do or they could see it as a sign that they need to achieve something else. The feedback they receive is then going to be ignored and it will be normal for them to carry on as they are.

On The Wrong Track

If they were to achieve something else, they could soon find that they end up feeling the same. They can then pay attention to how they feel or they can do the same thing and end up with the same result.

What they are likely to find through listening to themselves is that they are on the wrong track. While they used to believe that gaining the approval from others would allow them to experience true fulfilment; they now realise that this is something they will only be able to experience through fulfilling their own needs.


When one is in touch with their true needs and allows their life to be an expression of their needs, it may mean that they don’t receive much approval from others. In the eyes of others, they might even be seen as being successful.

However, whether their life matches up with other people expectations is not going to be their concern; what will matter is being true to themselves. At the same time, their life could be seen as what is means to be successful.


Yet even when one pays attention to their own need as opposed to the needs of others, they are still going to need to take action. What could drive them is the pain of having to live a life that doesn’t reflect who they are, among other things.

But unlike the person who is driven by their need to receive approval, they are going to be working towards something that truly matters to them. As a result, they are less likely to end up feeling empty and as though they are on the wrong track.


During the time, when one is putting in the work that they need to put in to achieve what they want to achieve, there is a chance that very few people will notice them. Yet once they have achieved something, this could soon change.

On one hand, this could mean that a small amount of people realise what they have achieved, and on the other hand, it could mean that a few thousand people realise what they have achieved. The amount of people who see what they have achieved can all depend on what they have achieved.

Overnight Success

Other people could then say that they are ‘lucky’, or that they had it easy, for instance. This is then similar to one turning up outside a house that has just been built and coming to the conclusion that it just appeared.

Clearly the house had to be built from the foundations upward, and this wouldn’t have happened overnight. So just like it takes patience and persistence to build a house; it also takes patience and persistence to become successful.

Instant Gratification

The idea of being an overnight success is something that is going to appeal to a lot of people and this is partly due to the fact that people are often told that they can have want they want when they want it. There is then no need for them to delay gratification, but while there are times when one will be able to have something straight away; there will be times when they won’t.

When it comes to success, it will be important for one to have the ability to delay gratification. While they are working towards what they want to achieve, there will be ups and there will be downs and unless they can tolerate frustration, they might soon give up.


This is why it is important for one to make sure that what they are doing truly matters to them. Through being on the right track, it will be easier for them to handle the times when they feel as though nothing is happening.
Another way of looking at this would be to say that one will be doing what they need to do and they won’t be too concerned about what will happen in the future.

Author's Bio: 

Prolific writer, thought leader and coach, Oliver JR Cooper hails from the United Kingdom. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation; love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With over eight hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behavior, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice. Current projects include "A Dialogue With The Heart" and "Communication Made Easy."

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