What does success mean to you?

Victor Ndukwe
4 min readJul 3, 2021

I saw an IG Live session where MI Abaga — a popular Nigerian rapper — was sharing his view on success. He said, ‘the problem with how people see success is that they view it from one lens, most often their lens, and judge your success by it’’ He went ahead to iterate the importance of defining success for yourself.

I shared the session with my friends on a WhatsApp group I belong to, and one of them asked me, ‘What does success mean to you? And this was my answer:

What success means to me.

For me, it’s the daily realization of my set goals.

So, if I plan my day to achieve some stuff, and I do it to a large extent, I’m successful for that day.

Now, because my daily tasks are bits of what I want to achieve as a human being in life, being successful at these goals daily will eventually mean me being successful in life.

Now, this is broad and I could get various viewpoints from it, like:

1. Making an impact in your corner.
2. Touching lives.
3. Learning a skill.
4. Investing and securing the bag.
5. Happiness.
6. Doing the things I love.
7. Self-care
8. Making my loved ones happy and trying to help when I can.

Once you understand that every day is your whole life in miniature, you’ll learn to live and define your life daily.

This doesn’t rule out the power of setting long term goals, it’s important.

The difference is hinging your success metric on your 5 or 10-year plan could be less fulfilling than achieving tiny chunks of this long plan on a daily.

For instance,

Growing up, I hinged my marriage year at 27. I’ll be 27 soon, and I’m not ready for anything like that. If my success metric on marriage was hinged on that, I’ll be a sad man on my 27th birthday, yeah?

But, I got to understand that I can live daily and work towards achieving tiny bits of my long term marriage goals on a daily.

So, I get to love my partner daily. Call and text her daily. Argue with her. Break up all in this space. If by 27, I’m not married yet, I’m grateful for what I’ve achieved or learnt in the relationship space. The romantic moments too could count as my daily success.

One thing hinging your success on a long term plan does is, if you ain’t careful, it makes you feel you’ve done nothing the whole time.

So you want to be a full stack developer in 5 years. You start learning without this daily success measurement. In 5 years, you check and you ain’t full stack yet, you’re mad at yourself. But, you fail to see that you now understand Git and GitHub, CSS, HTML, CMS platforms and say web hosting services which are enough for you to be happy about if you were measuring daily

Now, I’ve come to understand that this works for me, it might not for others. This is why it’s important to define it for yourself.

Then someone commented about how easy it is to say these things than for one to follow them, to which I acknowledged and added that it is indeed hard to follow, especially in a society where the main metric for identifying success are tangible assets.

A senior friend quickly dropped his idea by adding that the tangible assets are sort of a trap in the sense that they are indeed true measures of success, yet one can have them and still not be successful. He emphasized the importance of prioritizing your segments of success. From this, we can conclude that success is broadly divided into the Tangible and Intangible segments. More like the qualitative and quantitative aspects of success, and it’s necessary we prioritize both segments and strike a balance because they are equally important.

Other members of the group found this insightful and went ahead to share their perspectives to success.

So, since success cannot be viewed through a lens, let me know what success means to you in the comment section.