Archive for January, 2012

I came across this definition of success in a book on homeschooling:

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

My book attributed it to Ralph Waldo Emerson, but this site traces it to a 1905 publication by Bessie Stanley.

Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm – Winston Churchill

Elad Gil posted a list of 5 questions to ask yourself about your startup. I like it a lot, and think it applies more broadly than just entrepreneurs building startups. Here’s his list:

  1. Do I Have The Right Team In Place?
  2. Do I Have The Capital I Need?
  3. What Should I Be Doing Less Of? Or More Of?
  4. How Is My Product Doing?
  5. What Can I Do To 10X My Business This Year?

For a family it might be:

  1. Am I being the partner I want to be?
  2. Am I spending money on unnecessary things?
  3. What should I be doing less of? More of?
  4. How are my children doing?
  5. What can I do to 10x our happiness this year?

In this spirit, David Brooks wrote in the New Yorker last year:

The cognitive revolution of the past thirty years provides a different perspective on our lives, one that emphasizes the relative importance of emotion over pure reason, social connections over individual choice, moral intuition over abstract logic, perceptiveness over I.Q. It allows us to tell a different sort of success story, an inner story to go along with the conventional surface one.

The full article is here.