THE BLOG
12/22/2016 02:40 pm ET

Who is Really a Successful Person?

I read and hear constantly about how Donald Trump is a successful businessman who wants to surround himself with successful people. Hence, we are getting an administration stocked with billionaires.

So it seems that the accepted definition of successful is "made a boatload of money." Can we challenge that definition? Is that how you would define success for yourself? Is making a huge amount of money the be-all and end-all for you?

I bet it is not.

This blog post is not specifically about Donald Trump or those he is selecting for his administration. This post is about how we define success and value success as a nation.

Would you be proud of your rich self if you neglected your spouse and children to get there? Would you be proud of your rich self if you gave your employees short-shrift and treated them with disrespect? Would you be proud of your rich self if you never gave to charity, or gave way less than you were able? Would you be proud of your rich self if you never volunteered to help anyone in anyway?

Would you be proud of your rich self if you treated others with disdain? Would you be proud of your rich self if you wasted natural resources and cared little for the Earth? Would you be proud of your rich self if you spent so much time making money that you never took advantage of the beauty of the land or the beauty of great art and great literature and great theater and film? Would you be proud of your rich self if the only thing you accomplished in your life was accumulating money with little regard to the people hurt along the way?

I think not.

So let's not accept this definition of success and push to properly vet all these people who are supposed to be working for the good of all of us. How do other people who have worked for them view them? How do colleagues in their fields view them? How do family members view them? How have they given back to society?

Let's be clear about how we define success and let's make that definition known. Yes, an administration should be filled with successful people. But let us push back on the definition of success as simply having billions of dollars, and be clear about what we the people consider to be the definition of a successful person.

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