April 8, 2011

Challenging the standard definition of success

"People don’t start out to be successful — they start out to be very good at what matters to them. And when timing and circumstances come together, then they end up with success. One of the issues we are very clear about is that success needs to be redefined. This is because if you read the definition of success in the dictionary, it sounds like it was written for sociopaths. If you go to Oxford or Webster — whether you take a dictionary from either side of the Atlantic — they define success in the same way, as the accumulation of influence, power, wealth and accolades. We see a lot of people chasing that kind of success. What’s remarkable is that a few people whom we talked to have achieved that kind of success, but it was never their goal. A lot of people are experiencing incredible success. Although they don’t think about it per se, they have rich lives and they are having an impact that will probably benefit the world way beyond their lifetime. The traditional definition of success doesn’t fit their lives at all. What we have here is an historic opportunity to start a global dialogue about success. That’s our intention — to challenge Webster to alter its dictionary definition.”
~Stewart Emery, co-author of Success built to Last

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