The Reference Point of Success

By Aristides Priakos
Expert Author Aristides Priakos

In just a few paragraphs, I am going to give you the secret to success, and I am going to define it for you in its simplistic terms. I spent years noodling this out and when I started writing one of my first books, which is not published as of this writing, the book's the first chapter was all about success. That chapter alone took me over a year to write because I was hung up on trying to define what success really is. So, I decided to put it in this book instead. It made more sense.

Webster's definition of "success" comes from the Latin etymology of 1540. The word itself means; an endeavor of accomplishment, accumulation, position or attainment of wealth, or honors, or an achievement, that is marked by success.

That may be all well and good, but to me and others alike, that is the clinical version of what the word means. Let me give you an example. I really dislike it when people point to someone and say, "There goes Jonathan. He's very successful." That's a load of crap. Jonathan's success isn't measured by what he has, but what he did to get there. His path, his journey of who he is, or what he did, is his success. How many people did Jonathan help along the way? What did he do to "give back?" What kind of struggle, and how much pain did he endure, to get where he is today?

What lessons did he learn, or teach, on this journey of being successful? People miss that entirely, or they just don't get it because they are unaware of the path you must take to be successful. Listen to me very carefully here; you cannot, ever, ever get to the prize without first going through the struggle. Sound familiar?

I wanted to take this a step further, and have it clearly defined as to what people's reference point is in their mind, and what success means to them. So, I went on a quest and literally would walk up to people in bookstores, malls and other public venues. With notepad in hand, I told them I was writing a book, and could I ask them a question. Of course, people are inquisitive by nature, and they asked me what the book was about, so I told them.

I asked hundreds of people the exact same question. "What is your definition of success?" I wanted them to give me their interpretation of what success meant, and looked like, to them. I was amazed at their answers. I went into this with an open mind, but I was expecting a different answer, from the ones I received. However, I did manage to ask some choice members of academia, the same question. To my surprise, the answers from the propeller heads, was no different from the answers that I received from John Q. Public, oddly enough.

I posed the question time and time again, and I was expecting people to tell me that they wanted $100 million in the bank, or they wanted a Ferrari, or a beautiful house on the top of a hill. It wasn't anything like that to them. Success, to John Q. Public, and the like, was about family. It was about loving their children and having peace within themselves. Success to people was to what love what you did for a living. Success was about being able to spend time with their family, being on vacation, and going to places they had never traveled to before.

After interviewing so many hundreds of people and asking them to give me their reference point of success, my faith in mankind was slowly being restored. With that being said, here is my definition of success, which took me years to ponder.


There you have it, plain, simple and to the point. Jonathan's success isn't measured by how many Ferraris he has, but his success is determined on the steps he took, and the people he helped along the way, to get to that success. It is a choice you make in life. Your reference point is a measure of your success. It is also a measure of what you do with your life, and what you do in your life time, to help others.

Pay close attention to this next part. I'm giving you another nugget. IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU! It cannot be about you, it is never about you, and it will never be about you. We are here to serve, and part of that success is helping people get what they want. If you help enough people get what they want in their life, you will get what you want automatically, by default. It is the way the universe is balanced.

If you keep doing good things, consistently over a period of time, you will affect so many lives. That domino effect will gather momentum in grand fashion. Then you can look back in time and say, for certainty, that the defining moments that made you successful in your life, are the times you reached out and served others.

You have got to start giving yourself a new point of reference, and know full well that we are here to serve. When you serve others are you are taking the path of having an abundant life. One that is not determined on how much money you make, but how many lives you changed in the process and what you did with that money.

Aristides Priakos, or Ari as his friends call him, has business in his blood. He has worked with some of the biggest names in the financial services industry, and was a bond trader and investment banker for most of his business career. He now divides his time between speaking engagements, being an entrepreneur, and his philanthropic endeavors.

He has studied with some of the best success coaches in world, honing his skills. He states, I tell people that the greatest teachers in the world are also the best students" Ari has a natural ability to reach individuals on a very deep and personal level, and has developed a very specific set of emotional tools, to help people in all areas of their lives. The "references points" are the keys and the most important elements of how we affect each others lives personally, socially and professionally. The one thing we must change first is ourselves. Ari says, "We are here to serve others. When we understand how to serve, and can teach others to do the same, that is the reward, and the prize in life. It is the most fulfilling thing I have ever done, and I am always learning."

Article Source: