Opinion: Does Wealth Determine Your Success?

No matter race, gender or class, everyone wants to be successful. However, what does success mean in simple terms?

Success means achieving or accomplishing a goal. This goal could be getting a high paying job or it could be being fulfilled in life through various ways. When asked the question of whether success comes from wealth or wellbeing, two upcoming college freshmen said that happiness was the most important factor in their lives. Coming from their own personal experiences, Olivia and Ivy said their situation may not be the same for everyone, but their wellbeing mattered the most.

Billionaire entrepreneur and businessman Richard Branson wayed into the debate as well. While the founder of Virgin Records has billions of dollars, he disagrees with the widely known statement “money equals happiness”.

“Too many people measure how successful they are by how much money they make or the people they associate with,” he wrote. “In my opinion, true success should be measured by how happy you are.”

Entrepreneur and television personality Mark Cuban also offers his opinion on the topic.

“To me, success is waking up in the morning with a smile on your face, knowing it’s going to be a great day,” he said.

Additionally, it is evident that not all successful people have millions of dollars lying around. Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime. While his paintings are now worth millions, he did not have that much money while he was alive. Despite this, Van Gogh is deemed successful and is one of the most influential artists of the 21st century. 

On the other hand, money can lead you to live a better lifestyle, which contributes to becoming successful. A research study at Binghamton University in New York found that success materialism (wealth and material possessions are a sign of success in life) positively influences life satisfaction by boosting a person’s economic satisfaction. 

While this may be true, many successful people had a hard upbringing and became successful through their own determination. Oprah Winfrey, for example, grew up in poverty. This obstacle did not stop her from working hard and becoming one of the most inspiring talk-show hosts in America. This just goes to show that having money does not drive peoples’ actions. Ambitions, dreams and goals are the reason people get to where they want to go. 

In simple terms, having money does not mean you are successful. On the other hand, having no money doesn’t mean you are not successful. Success is a personal achievement that has no limits. 


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