How do you measure career or life success?

I like the bottom one! I feel grateful because I am fortunate to have a good balance of all these things, and I love what I do!


I think there’s a segment missing: “The regard of your colleagues and peers”.

Striving for public recognition is an endless treadmill, because the public taste is fickle and always looking for the new thing. But your peers see what you do on a regular basis, both the spectacular stuff and the ordinary. They see how you handle knockbacks as well as successes. And they know how you help others and accept help yourself. It’s a genuine measure of how successful someone really is.


Free time and mental health are so very important! I wish I could go back and tell past me that when I was stuck in roles I didn’t like that affected both my physical and mental health but I guess if I hadn’t had those experiences I probably wouldn’t have learned the lessons that go with them :thinking:


I think the whole 360 portions of the circle depending on Health. You need to be fit both physically and mentally to focus on other criteria.


Yes, the second one is more indicative and realistic!

1 Like

Love the bottom one, but so often the lack of ‘salary’ as a factor can seriously inhibit the success of the other factors.

It would be awesome to be able to shift to a way of life where income (or lack of) does not prevent anyone from achieving more balance and success in their life. We have enough to take care of ourselves and our families, and live congruently with our beliefs and needs.

What are the basics? Maslov’s Hierarchy of Needs is probably the best starter on this.

But whenever there is a disrupting factor - health issues, relationship issues, work related issues, such as redundancy - they all have an impact on the opportunities to have successful lives. Is it how we take the opportunities that life presents us, and turning them into something more productive, happy and fulfilling?

1 Like

I was thinking the same thing, but from the slightly different perspective that “salary” is really shorthand/overlaps significantly with “free time”, “liking what you do”, “mental health”, etc.

Put another way, money for me is an enabler - if I have enough of it, I don’t have to stress about rent, groceries, bills, etc. It also enables me to get extras - gym membership for my physical health, paying others to make my food, change the oil in my car, and other services to get more free time, and going on trips to like what I do and contribute to my mental health, etc.

The biggest issue with the first graph is that it’s making things into a contest with others - i.e. needing higher/better titles and salaries than others. Took me a few years of working to realize that the rat race wasn’t for me, and that I’d be much better off if I just tried to do things that interested me/made me happy. It’s similar to how people talk about chasing your passion, and while that’s too extreme/simplistic in my mind, there’s a lot of truth to incrementally building your skills/expertise by focusing on tasks you enjoy, and that skill and expertise often translating into increased salary.