Measuring success in life. The formula may be more complicated than you think!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Richard Weisser Realty

Measuring TapeIt's a fair question. When we look back at our lives and careers, we often think of different episodes in our saga as successes or failures. It's an interesting analysis, because of lot of our self worth really depends on what we consider important in life.

There has to be a benchmark established. We can then measure ourselves against this standard, and draw a reasonable conclusion based on facts.

So what is really important to you? What basis would you use to measure yourself?

Is it money? That's an easy one. If you measure success by the amount of money you have earned, all of the necessary accounting systems are already in place. You only need to decide the dollar amount that you would have to obtain to be considered a success. If you have established a goal for yourself, you have already done just that.

HydrangeIs it family? If raising and nurturing your family is your most important test for success, it's a little harder to set the standard. Families are dynamic and changing, and evaluation is extremely subjective. You can set your benchmark as low as "nobody is in jail" or as high as "They all graduated from medical school" or anywhere in between. But I think that most parents have an intuitive feeling about successes and failures, and it's all about adjusting and adapting.

Is it prevailing over competition? Whether sports or business, many choose to measure themselves directly against others in the same field or profession.  Do you want to be the best at something? To be the best, you must know your competition, and must strive to surpass them. It's another case of a clearly defined success, you must decide which triumph defines success.

Is it recognition? Many people consider success to be determined by others, and not themselves. They look to others to recognize their achievements and accomplishments. However, one can still strive to obtain this notoriety, and can make recognition a fair measure of success.

Is it spiritual? Are your standards defined by religion, spirituality or morality? Many would consider losing money as a success if in means not having to sacrifice a principle. Establishing clearly defined codes of ethics and standards of behavior are great ways of determining success. Everyone one of us knows the satisfaction derived from doing the right thing, and its an easy measure of our success.

In reality, we all know that success in life is a combination of ALL of the above. Sometimes we sacrifice one kind of success for another, but ultimately, we know where we stand against our own measurements. We all know that we often need to make improvements, and that life is a effluent cataract of cascading opportunities and plunging obstacles.

I hope that when all is said and done, that I will look back without trepidation, and say to myself: "Richard, you did okay!"  

All content, including text, original art, photographs and images, is the exclusive property of Coweta Fayette Real Estate, Inc., and may not be used without the expressed written permission of ERA United Realty and Coweta Fayette Real Estate of ERA United Realty Newnan Georgia. All information is believed to be accurate but is not warranted, Copyright 2003-2008.


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Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


I think also that it's important for us to realize that we are ALWAYS successful at something all of the time, and nobody is successful at everything all of the tine. Thanks for the comment!


And it's up to us to decide what's important, but my guess is that money would be at the BOTTOM of most lists! Thanks again, my friend.


That is so on point that I really can't embellish on it! Thanks for the terrific summary!


Well. I have learned from a LOT of mistakes, and have the benefit of YEARS of experience, but thank you so much for the kind words!


Aug 24, 2008 01:34 AM #6
Jon Wnoroski
America's 1st Choice RH Realty Co., Inc. - Green, OH
Summit County Realtor

Richard, success is measured by a combination of factors.  It's often based on what is important to you, what your goals have been and whether or not you feel you attained those goals.  I have known individuals who felt satisfied over their accomplishments because they exceeded expectations of others.  Perhaps exceeding expectations could be a benchmark but I'm not one who relies on others defining who I am... I'd prefer to make my own definition, set my own goals, and work on reaching them.  Thus, success might just be what is "held in the eyes of the beholder."


Aug 24, 2008 01:35 AM #7
Neal Bloom
eXp Realty - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate


My motivation is all the above...mostly money! It's hard to live without it.

Aug 24, 2008 01:49 AM #8
Anne Hensel
South Beaches Real Estate Professionals - Saint Petersburg, FL
Realtor - Broker - St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island

I was successful in a lot of thing and way, but I don't think I would never ask myself if I has a successful life or if I was successful in living my life.

Somehow, for me  these two words just don't go together when it comes to life. hey I am an Aquarius, what can you expect?


Aug 24, 2008 02:03 AM #9
Susan Mangigian
RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches

Hi Richard.  I like to leave people better than I found them.  If I can leave people smiling when I go, I will consider myself a success.  When I ultimately shuffle off, if my loved ones can sit around and share funny stories and smile, then it will have been a life well lived.

Aug 24, 2008 02:26 AM #10
Nancy Larson
I am a licensed referral agent in NJ - Hutchinson Island, FL

Great pot Richard and you have my all time favorite flower!!!!! A picture just adds so much to a story, thank you.

Aug 24, 2008 02:59 AM #11
Melody Botting
Broker Associate PenFed Realty - San Antonio, TX
You Deserve The Best

A thought provoking post.  Success means something different to all of us.  I consider myself a success in many aspects and a failure in others.  However, failures usually opens doors to more successes.

Aug 24, 2008 03:25 AM #12
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


Whoops, I missed you earlier .... I would like to think that good thing are said when I am gone, but more than likely: "What about the money he owes me?" lol


Very nicely said. I think ultimately, we are the arbitrators of our destinies, and it is our own standards that matter. It's nice to be recognized occasionally though, isn't it?


Oddly enough I have been through some times with no money and I did fine. Things always seem to take care of themselves for me! Thanks.


"When the moon, is in the seventh house, and Jupiter aligns with Mars ..." Good words of wisdom. Thanks for the comment!


Well, I for one hope that you don't "shuffle off" anytime soon! I believe what you say, you make me smile a lot and I'm 700 miles away!


I LOVE the deep blue classic hydrangea, not the modern color variations. Thanks for noticing!


Aug 24, 2008 03:30 AM #13
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

Richard - I enjoyed this profound post of yours.  As you indicated, there are shades of gray in many of these areas, and true success is a combination of elements.

Aug 24, 2008 04:35 AM #14
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


As long as we learn from our failures, they are a positive experience. Thanks!


On one may weight each category as they wish! Thank you!

Aug 24, 2008 08:03 AM #15
April Hayden-Munson
Brookfield, WI
Brookfield Wisconsin Real Estate

True success and happiness I am sure comes from a good balance.  I am certain you have touched many, many lives.  In and out of real estate.  That's a success. Thanks for being there!

Aug 24, 2008 08:05 AM #16
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Richard:  This post is exactly what my friend and I were talking about last night.  There is a balance to life and achievement.   Hard to measure just one area.

Aug 24, 2008 10:34 AM #17
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


Sure, I hope you're hanging in there, my friend. I know it's be a tough week for you.

Chris Ann...

Exactly, and we determine which areas need the most emphasis. THX


Aug 24, 2008 12:18 PM #18
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

For some it's family, othes it's freinds and still others it's money.  Now if you put all 3 together and throw in may have found me!

Aug 24, 2008 01:52 PM #19
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


And only you can be the judge! Thanks.

Aug 24, 2008 02:32 PM #20
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

W0W - your photo of the hydrangea took my breath away!  The color is spectacular and that just happens to be one of my all time faves...just a gorgeous photo. 

Wish I could add a substantive comment about your post, but you have pretty well summed it all up...I think the best we can hope for, as we go through the years with ever evolving priorities, is that we can all look back and say, "we did okay."  ;-)

Aug 25, 2008 10:49 AM #21
Kristin Moran
Owner - RE/MAX Access - - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio,TX - Real Estate - 210-313-7397

Great post, very thought provoking, motivating & encouraging.  I think a tad of all are important to me.  It's interesting how at different points in your life what is more important over other things.  What was completely important 10 years ago i small now but still there.  Kristin

Aug 25, 2008 02:30 PM #22
Stacy Jones
West Little Rock Title Company - Little Rock, AR

I think working is important, and for those starting out in the self-employment world, it may be especially important, but love, tenderness and caring for someone is significantly more important. It takes some of us longer to figure that out than others..Money can't buy happiness, and sometimes can only bring more problems, but a little is sure nice to long as you have someone to share it all with.

Aug 28, 2008 03:05 PM #23
Mandi Perkins
Pioneer Title Agency - Pinetop Lakeside, AZ

As always richard a beautiful post with a beautiful picture that compliments it. By the way all of my clients love a saying I have framed in my office which states "The most important things in life aren't things" Sometimes I think we need to be reminded. :)

Aug 28, 2008 03:44 PM #24
No Longer Active in Staging. No Longer Staging
Hickory, NC

Hi Richard, What an excellent post - it should be featured.. I know that my preacher often says- you cannot serve God without serving others. My desire is to please the LORD but I fall so short.. God bless,

Sep 05, 2008 04:12 AM #25
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