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a non-profit school for children with learning differences and ADHD.

“My Definition of Success is…”


What’s your definition of success? Who do you consider to be successful?

I recently asked these questions of our high school students as part of our Personal Finance Journal project. Talking through success, reflection, satisfaction and discipline has been a fascinating and challenging process so far.

Passionate about success

Here’s a little of what our high schoolers had to say:

“My definition of success is doing what you love, accomplishing your goals, and being happy with yourself. It is to live a happy, good life doing your best.”


“The way I define success or being successful is striving to make the world a better place for others without sacrificing or compromising personal morals and principals.”


“The most important thing I can do is help others and myself become successful.”


“My definition of success is to have a life that is consistent and helps others.”


“[Success is living] a life that is happy not because of money and power, but a life that is happy about those you’ve helped and the things you have done in your past.”

Passionate about others

These students are passionate about helping others. They have a desire to give their lives for something, or someone, else. In many cases, this selfless drive defines their success. The students’ ability and willingness to improve another’s life makes their lives successful, meaningful.

While discussing definitions and stories of people who have made a difference in these students’ lives, I keep hearing the theologian Robert E. Coleman re-iterate the challenge:

“Really, it is a question of which generation we are living for.” 

The Wedgwood Academy high schoolers have understood this, and they have willingly tied their success to the success of those around them. They realize happiness cannot be obtained alone, and the risk of relationship outweighs the silence of solitude.

So here’s the students’ favorite quote for success. What’s yours?

“Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” -Winston Churchill