Success is … (1)

“Come on Kani! Success? Seriously? Try and be a little original”.

As much as you want to beret me on our choice of discussion today, you should know that success is not being discussed as much as it needs to. “Come on!”  you say “everyone is talking about it. From the two dollar a minute motivational speaker, to the fifty thousand dollar an hour business consultants. Two-third of the books being churned out from all presses are books on success”.  Success is the most
selling topic in our world today, together with sex and violence (don’t look surprised. In our world today, sex appeal equals sales). Anyway success is almost as important as the air we breathe because it is one of the human factors that is common to every living human being. Everybody wants to succeed!

Don’t confuse fame with success, Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other
- Erma Bombeck.

Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.
- Vince Lombardi

We might disagree on its definition, content and extent, but everyone desires it. That’s why we work, play, strive and desire to thrive.  The ethics of the word success are numerous, but the meaning remains the same. Most people think they know what it means to be successful, but when you sit down and think of it, you will discover that our notion of success is quite myopic and in some instances twisted.

Success is to be measured not by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacle which he has overcome.
- Booker T. Washington 

 What indeed does it mean to be successful? Our TV screens are full of the rich and the famous, who obviously are successful. Or are they? You see your class mate rolling in his 2013 range rover sport and you go “oh my God he has arrived”. Or you see your junior in high school now with her husband and two year old son in tow, and all of a sudden you can hear the people around you shouting “alien” and pointing at you, all because you just turned from your lovely coffee with cream brown color to forest green with envy, at the apparent success of your school mate. What we define as successful are many and variant. From the heavily guarded celebrity to the kid with the coolest lunch box in school. We don’t seem to have a particular picture of what success is, but we have an uncanny tendency to recognize it once we see it.

I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.
Bill Cosby.

Again, who is it that determines what or who is successful?  Is it the individual that says “I am a success!”? Or is it society that says “you are a success”? Or is it a self evident truth that is just known. I ask because in my short journey I have come across many a successful looking people that just don’t know or accept that they are successful. They have everything we want; money, fame and fortune, but they believe they are the scum of the earth because they have a bad case of acne and they are willing to exchange all their entire riches for a smooth face (don’t laugh just yet, I may be talking about you. Your own acne maybe an education, a job, a promotion ….)

I have a couple of convictions that we will put under the microscope subsequently ;

  • What exactly does it mean to be successful

  • Can everyone be a success

  • What do you need to be successful

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici /

Kanayo Aniegboka

Kani is a writer, entrepreneur, blogger, public speaker and an all-round knowledge junkie who likes to view life from different angles.

1 comment:

  1. A very interesting discuss! I can't wait for it's continuation.