Dimensions of Success

How to be Successful in Life

Money is only one dimension along which success can be defined. There are many others, such as sports, music, art, acting, politics, professions and even more abstract things like articulation, soft skills, philanthropy, wisdom, knowledge etc. Excellence in any one of them can be thought of us success. Erfolg ist leicht zu erkennen - schauen Sie sich einen der Prominenten an und fragen Sie sich, warum Sie ihn kennen,,en,Die Antwort ist normalerweise eine der Dimensionen des Erfolgs - und Ruhm sein Nebenprodukt,,en,Exzellenz in jedem Bereich kann zu Geld führen,,en,Das sagt Eddie Felson in der Farbe des Geldes dem jüngeren Poolspieler,,en,Diese Transformierbarkeit führt oft dazu, dass wir Geld für den Erfolg der Maßnahme halten,,en,ist das Thema des oben genannten Films,,en,Gegen Ende des Films,,en,wenn Felson erkennt, dass das Leben mehr beinhaltet als Geld,,en,"Ich will nur dein bestes Spiel." Die Fähigkeit, mit dem besten Spiel zu spielen, das jeder auf jedem Gebiet austeilen kann, ist Exzellenz,,en,und es muss als Erfolg gewertet werden,,en,Diese Vorzüglichkeit ist wahrscheinlich das, was die alten Griechen Arete nannten,,en,Autismus und Genie,,en. The answer is usually one of the dimensions of success — and fame its byproduct.

Excellence in any field can translate to money, which is what Eddie Felson in the Color of Money tells the younger pool player. This transformability often leads us to mistake money for the measure success, which, by the way, is the theme of the afore-mentioned movie. Towards the end of the movie, when Felson realizes that there is more to life than money, he says, “I just want your best game.” Ability to hang with the best game anybody can dish out in any field is excellence; and it has to be reckoned as success. This excellence is probably what the ancient Greeks called arete.

Then, we have other dimensions of life, which, if lived well, lead to gratification and I suppose, spell success in life. Being a good son or daughter and taking care of your parents, for instance, is a worthy goal that my Asian and Indian friends will appreciate. Being a good spouse or a good parent is another worthy dimension of success that most of us would like to achieve, at least in principle. Excellence along these dimensions may lead to personal satisfaction, but no monetary glory. I wonder whether the lack of money makes these successes less impressive.

Success without money came to some other excellent souls as well. Paul Gauguin, Vincent Van Gogh, Karl Marx etc. had wretchedly poor existences, but were posthumously recognized as peaks of excellence in their own ways. Again, it looks as thought their success is somewhat less worthy because of its lack of financial rewards. Or is it the money-centric worldview of our era (or of my garden state of Singapore) that is talking? When we ask our kids to score A’s, are we asking them to be excellent in academics for its own sake and pleasure? Or are we hoping, secretly and hypocritically, that they will make oodles of money for themselves later in life? I’m afraid it is the latter.