Can there be a one definition of success ?
I would imagine if one were to be asked of what success meant at various age points, we will get differing definitions. We will get different definitions if we ask different people or people from different cultures/genders/places .. etc. so it is essentially depends on the context.
Success will also vary based on the life stage of the person. If one had no ‘success’ their definition of success could be modest or could be very bold if they are dreamer.
As the definition of success is so personal, it has to be sought out by individual rather than being given to an individual.
So the question is morphed from ‘What is Success?’ to ‘What is my Success?’
We just added one more word to our question. We didn’t answer it but we gained better understanding of the nature of the question.
What is good ? What is bad ?
is self preservation good ? is self-sacrifice good when it serves a greater cause ?
Is advancing civilization and humanity good or Is solving more day-to-day mundane problems good ?
There is a generic answer to these questions and also a personal answer.
The generic answer would be ‘Any value creation is good’.
Say if you solve a mundane but time consuming problem, it is a good because it frees up people from wasting time on drudgery and deploy their valuable time elsewhere.
Now if we extend this further, If a drug lord uses this above said tool to become efficient, then the sin is with the drug lord but not the tool creator. But if the tool creator explicitly created the tool to be used by drug lord, knowing fully well the consequences, then the sin rests with the tool creator.
Another example of this would be an AI system that automates good chunk of work and eliminates millions of jobs. Is this good or bad. In the first look, It may appear to be bad in that we are putting millions of workers’ livelihoods in jeopardy. But it does free up this portion of humanity to work on different problem. The explicit intent of this AI system is not to harm the people but to automate and free up resources. Hence in my book, this is good.
So any value creation without any explicitly intended harmful effects is good.
Within the goodness spectrum, each one has to chose where they want to contribute.
Doing good is not in the monopoly of governments or non-profits. Any private individual or corporation can and should.