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Origin of the word:

success (n.)

1530s, "result, outcome," from Latin successus "an advance, a coming up; a good result, happy outcome," .

Meaning "accomplishment of desired end" (good success) first recorded 1580s. Meaning "a thing or person which succeeds," especially in public, is from 1882.

Success story is attested from 1902. Among the French phrases reported by OED as in use in English late 19c. were succès d'estime "cordial reception given to a literary work out of respect rather than admiration" and succès de scandale "success (especially of a work of art) dependent upon its scandalous character."

successful (adj.)

1580s, from success + -ful. Originally "having or resulting in any kind of success;" since late 19c. it has tended to mean "wealthy, resulting in financial prosperity" unless otherwise indicated. Related: Successfully.


The accomplishment of an aim or purpose.

  • the attainment of fame, wealth, or social status.
  • a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains fame, wealth, etc.


Other useful definitions by Creative, and Game-Changing Thinkers:

"How Does Success Happen?
Preparation aligned with opportunity
Willingness aligned with circumstance
Expertise aligned with timing
Desire aligned with luck
Focus aligned with culture
All that to say…Any way you slice it success comes from a mixture of internal and external.
We have some say with the external variables.
But we have a lot of say over the internal. Which, in the long term have a huge effect on the externals." gabe@gabethebassplayer.com


“The cost of being wrong is less than the cost of doing nothing.” Seth Godin

“If failure is not an option, then neither is success.” Seth Godin

Seth Godin's Blog: "How’s this: success is largely about keeping your promises."