What success looks like for one person is very different for another. In the absence of creating our own definitions of success, we often take on society's definition. This usually involves credentials, status, power, or lots of financial wealth and material items. At the very least, we are conditioned to think that if someone has a lot of fancy things then they are "successful." But society is often misdirected, and things such as wealth, status and material possessions, while look cool, do nothing for our universal need for purpose, fulfillment and meaning. It's often a harsh reality that people have to discover for themselves.

Here are 20 truths about success - defined as the accomplishment of an aim or purpose that are rooted in science and psychology. Most people aren't aware of these truths, but they're essential to know:

1. Your IQ doesn't matter as much as you think.

2. What looks good to others is less important than how it feels to you.

3. Extrinsic rewards such as money, status and fame do not make you happy.

4. If your intellectually challenged and the impact of your work is aligned with your purpose, your performance will soar.

5. Other people's advice is often just a regurgitation of what worked for them. If it doesn't feel right to you, don't take it.

6. You often need support rather than advice.

7. Actively believing in yourself and reversing your own negative chatter will build your confidence muscle more than getting praise from others.

8. Knowing the impact you're having on others is a way to monitor your fulfillment.

9. College is right for some people and not right for others. There is no one way to approach a career.

10. Grit, never giving up, and having a Growth mindset - meaning you believe in your ability to grow and learn - are critical behaviors that will allow anyone to achieve their own career visions.

11. Happiness is a practice that everyone can learn.

12. Mindfulness, being present, and more aware of the details of life will help you see answers to your own questions more easily.

13. Knowing who you are, and more specifically your zone of genius, is a critical piece of having work you love.

14. Loving work is an essential part of creating the kind of success that won't cause stress, exhaustion, and burn out.

15. If work isn't fun, then something is broken.

16. Managing your career is a habit that can be learned.

17. Job seeking is fun when you're clear about who you are and what you want.

18. Comparing yourself to others is never helpful.

19. Knowing your own psychological baggage, and working to heal it, is critical for being a great leader and a healthy, thriving human being.

20. Failures are to be celebrated and learned from.

Published on: Apr 1, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.