Criteria For Measuring Success
Succeeded or Successful?

Criteria For Measuring Success

Almost anything under the sun has a unit of measurement, but what about success? Is there any tool or unit for measuring success? Is it possible to measure success?

This article was created with the aim of answering the above questions and showing you the process involved in measuring success.

In the dictionary, success is defined as the opposite of failure. Your success is the achievement of your aim or goal. In fact, success could be interpreted as financial profitability. If a family lives in peace and happiness, they are termed to be successful, just like a brilliant school boy who won a scholarship.

In our daily life, there are lots of scenarios at which we may describe others or ourselves as successful.  Without doubts, you are most likely to accept and see yourself as successful as other people see you, only when you have achieved most of your goals. That is to say; the higher your goals, the higher your expectation and the less likely you are to accept yourself as a successful person. In such case, other people conclude that you are already successful, but you are the only one that knows the truth.

This truth varies per individual. How? It is simply because our goal varies from one person to another. For example, an individual target is to own international businesses would not accept the fact that he is already successful, if he currently owns a few businesses across the states. But, a man whose goal is to have a business which will allow him to feed his family will definitely accept the fact that he is successful: as long as he owns such a business.

As we grow and move from one stage of life to another, our goals tends to change, and this changes completely affects how we measure success. Everyone wants to be successful, but why?

I could remember quite vividly during my childhood stage. I would see most of my mates wearing the then trending fancy cover shoes, but my parents would not buy it for me, and I had no money to buy it. Although I had very quality shoes back then, I thought I was a failure, because I couldn’t afford all that I wanted; the trending fancy covers shoe.

From the two examples above, did you notice the elements which determined how anyone could measure success? Just as beauty is, in the eyes of the beholder, so also is success. But there are very common and fundamental elements which determine how anyone could measure their own success.

These elements include:

  1. Environs
  2. Mindset
  3. Level of experience
  4. Goal

The elements listed above are the basis on which every living person measures success. But, how exactly do these elements work hand in hand?


Our environment is the big head which hugely affects the other three elements. Have you noticed that our environment which includes the family you found yourself, your upbringing, culture and origin, close associates and friends, all affects the way you think and the way you pass judgments? Most of the beliefs you had today is basically what determined which knowledge you upload to your brain.


Therefore, it is very simple to understand that, any bit of information or knowledge which you uploaded to your brain, forms the basis of your mindset. Our mindset varies due to our environments, and the information which we have access to. So, the better our environment, the more likely we are to have access to good information and knowledge which will yield to a better mindset.

Level of Experience

Your level of experience is another factor which matters a lot. The way you measure success varies proportionally with your level of experience: which continues to change as long as you are still able to learn. So, what exactly is the cause of change in ones level of experiences? Is it the age? No, not basically age. The right causes of change in our level of experiences are our environment, and our mindset. No wonder an Igbo proverb says that ‘A traveler is wiser than an old man’. That is to say: a traveler usually has a wider level of experience compared to an old man who rarely travels.


Your environment, your mindset, your level of experience; all have a very big role to play on how you set your goals. The goals you set, determines how you are likely to measure your own success. Certainly, the quality of any of these four elements, directly or indirectly affects how you measure your success.

 How exactly can someone measure success?

It is simple, examine your goal. Since the goals you choose to pursue is basically determined by the environment you found yourself, the knowledge you have access to, and the level of your experience. The way you measure success will always vary from the way another person measures success. That is to say; the measuring tool for success varies from one goal to another. As long as the elements listed above continues to vary from one individual to another, the measuring tool for success will continue to vary from one individual to another.

Some of the times, when I talk with friends, I used to tell them: ‘You hardly see what has been done right, if your expectations are too high’.  It is evident that whenever you have a very high goal, you will most likely see yourself as a failure as long as you are very far away from achieving your goals. If such a thing happens, analyse your goal, you will find out that one or more of the other three elements are the cause. Maybe, your environment is not helping the matter, your mindset is the problem, or your level of experience is not enough. If any of these things are not in good condition, your goal may not be in a very good condition.

In conclusion:

Yes, it is possible to measure success, though, if success is measured on a scale of 10, and each scale represents an individual, the values they read for a given situation can never be the same because of the indifference which exists between the individuals.  And there is no other way to calibrate the scale, except by enforcing the concerned individuals to be on the same environs, have the same mindset, and have the same level of experience and goal. A situation like this is far-fetched from possibility.

Would you like to read more? Find out what part ‘desire’ can play in leading you to success.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Success is personal. It’s more of the progressive realization of one’s goals. What success means to me is not same thing as what it means to another person.
    As men are unique, so also is one’s perception of success unique to him.
    I am really inspired by this write-up. More inspirations to be inspiring and to inspire others@goodnesskosi.
    I need to give a thought to what success means to me once again.

    1. You are very correct sir, Thanks for the part you contributed to this write-up.

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